The City Rail Link, the biggest single transport expense facing Auckland at $2.5 billion, is a huge drain on all other transport projects across Auckland. The Mayor tries to convince us that it is 50/50 Government/ Auckland Council funded project but ratepayers in the NorWest have been left “holding the baby” in three substantial ways.
The Government/ Auckland Council split is more like 40/60 with us ratepayers carrying the major financial load, or put another way $1.5 billion of the cost.
Secondly, Mr Brown started building the CRL before the Government decided they would provide any funding. The Government has said they will provide $1 billion but not until 2018. So in the interim all the cost falls 100% on the ratepayer. This is far from the 50/50 funding scenario we are being sold.
Thirdly, the potential for this immensely expensive project to blow out is very real. Especially considering our Councillors let so many projects run over budget. My sources are predicting the real cost of the CRL could be closer to $5 billion, if it is not tightly managed. This would undoubtedly suck more desperately needed money away from the NorWest.
Following the next elections, we need a business savvy Mayor and financially astute Councillors who will ensure the CRL is delivered on time and strictly to budget. This is critical if the NorWest is to get its fair share and to have any chance getting a rail service to Huapai, getting the traffic congestion on SH 16 finally sorted and having the Nortwesten busway extended to Kumeu.