Port offer deeply offensive
Re: Port not wanted on Cape, September 14 story.
The Crown Infrastructure Partners should invest in our railway line!
The offer of $45 million by Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Infrastructure and Minister for Regional Economic Development, for a log barging facility on the East Coast is deeply offensive.
It is true that Tairawhiti needs more infrastructure for community and economic resilience and wellbeing, and in planning for a future without diesel we need alternatives to roads. But the Crown Infrastructure Partners' infrastructure fund is for “shovel-ready” projects, and those that have been requested by the local authority or community interests.
The Government spent $600,000 last year on the feasibility study considering reopening the railway line. The study concluded that it is feasible to reinstate the line and there are numerous environmental, social, cultural and economic wellbeing advantages in favour of the reinstatement.
The cost to reinstate the railway line, a “shovel-ready” project requested by Gisborne District Council and the community, is $36 million. This cost includes the development of a modern transport hub at Matawhero — and is less than what has been offered for a new log barging facility, which is far from “shovel ready”!
Gisborne Rail Action Group