Treasury’s warning shot on LGWM must be urgently addressed
Budget 2021 delivers disappointing news for Wellington’s much-needed transport infrastructure says the Wellington Chamber of Commerce.
"Treasury’s Budget Economic and Fiscal Update warns that the Let’s Get Wellington Moving (LGWM) programme is ‘expected to cost significantly more than previously estimated, increasing the risk that it may not be delivered in full’ and that Government may have to pick up more of the costs due to local government's ‘competing funding priorities’," says Simon Arcus, Wellington Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive.
"This is a warning shot across the bow from Treasury officials - Ministers have got to make sure funding and resources match Wellington’s infrastructure needs, the whole of the LGWM package.
"Let’s Get Wellington Moving is about getting people in, out, and around the city. It’s complementary to the wider regional transport investments through the Government’s NZ Upgrade programme, Otaki to Levin and SH2 Melling interchange improvements, and it’s supposed to be the final piece of the Transmission Gully network puzzle. Instead, all three of these future projects and their funding are on the line - at risk of being derailed.
"The Chamber has consistently maintained that the LGWM funding split between Central and Local Government was a raw deal for the city, with Central Government not taking on their fair share of the costs. In some ways, it shouldn’t be a surprise that Treasury has flagged the funding arrangement and Council’s contribution as a concern, given it unfairly shifts the costs onto Wellington ratepayers who right now can’t afford any further rates increases.
"We urge both Central and Local Government to urgently address these funding concerns to ensure these critical projects are delivered in full."