Monday, July 15, 2024

Simeon Brown unveils Budget 2024’s investment plan for transport infrastructure | Headlines

Must read

Transport Minister Simeon Brown unveils Budget 2024’s robust investment plan aimed at revitalizing New Zealand’s transport infrastructure, with a significant $2.68 billion injection earmarked for roads, rail, and public transport. Emphasizing the pivotal role of transportation in unlocking economic growth and ensuring the swift and safe movement of people and goods, Minister Brown underscores the government’s commitment to accelerating priority projects and addressing infrastructure needs across the nation.

The budget allocation represents a billion-dollar increase from previous estimates outlined during consultations on the Government Policy Statement (GPS) on land transport. This additional funding is secured to expedite the delivery of critical projects, including the Roads of National Significance, signaling the government’s proactive stance towards infrastructure development.

Minister Brown emphasizes the government’s determination to expedite road construction projects, providing assurance to construction firms of the government’s commitment to prioritizing funding for road-building initiatives.

Investments in transport infrastructure are deemed critical to the government’s broader economic recovery strategy, aimed at elevating incomes and sustaining essential services in health, education, and other key sectors.

Budget 2024 encompasses a diverse range of transport investments, including:

$1.0 billion to accelerate the delivery of Roads of National Significance and major public transport projects.

$939.3 million allocated to repairing roads damaged by severe weather events in the North Island.

$266.9 million earmarked for upgrading and maintaining metropolitan rail networks in Auckland and Wellington.

$200 million dedicated to supporting KiwiRail in conducting maintenance and renewals on the national rail network.

$10 million allocated for Airways New Zealand to complete the minimum operating network of Ground-Based Navigation Aids.

$44 million to support the Civil Aviation Authority in carrying out core functions amidst ongoing fee and levy rate reviews.

$23.1 million to bolster critical frontline rescue services, enhancing their capacity to respond to severe weather events and emergencies.

$63.6 million to support Surf Life Saving New Zealand and Coastguard New Zealand.

Refocused funding of $59.7 million over the next four years towards decarbonizing the bus fleet, including zero-emissions buses and charging infrastructure, and enhancing bus driver safety and working environments.

This investment supplements the $20.7 billion outlined earlier this year in the draft GPS on land transport and Roads of Regional Significance programme, reinforcing the government’s commitment to expanding investment in transportation infrastructure nationwide.

Minister Brown emphasizes the government’s dedication to repairing and rebuilding crucial transport links disrupted by the North Island weather events. The full funding of the State Highway network recovery and support for local councils’ recovery efforts underscore the government’s commitment to restoring vital transportation infrastructure.

Moreover, substantial investments in rail networks are slated to enhance freight movement efficiency and prepare for the imminent opening of the City Rail Link. Investments in public transport infrastructure aim to improve service reliability and safety, addressing recent concerns regarding speed reductions and delays in Auckland and Wellington.

Budget 2024’s comprehensive transport infrastructure investment strategy reflects the government’s unwavering commitment to facilitating safe, efficient, and sustainable transportation networks, driving economic growth and opportunity for all New Zealanders.

Latest article