The Government is taking nearly half a billion dollars out of public transport, cycling, walking, road maintance, and traffic policing to pay for more state highways. Transport Minister Steven Joyce’s reasoning for this – ‘86% of people go to work by car’.
Doesn’t he get that people have to go by car because there aren’t other options? In the age of climate change and peak oil the government needs to be giving people alternatives to driving. Instead they’re cementing the car culture, which will just make future oil shocks more damaging and hurt our environment.
Meanwhile, did you notice Guyon here on Tuesday saying “The government got the headline it wanted this morning…but when you look deeper into the numbers half of it comes from raiding other aspects of the transport budget”? Why did it take the journalists a day, you might ask. It should have been obvious immediately that the ‘reallocation from non-state highway streams’ that Joyce talked about meant money out of public transport. Why didn’t the journalists get that straight away and ask Joyce about it at the press conference on Monday instead of giving him the headlines he was looking for?
The dark, dirty truth is that they did ask him and he told them. Listen to the press conference here. You can hear Guyon ask if the money is coming out of public transport and Joyce acknowledges it is. Yet no-one mentioned it in the reports that followed. Journalists played the story like they had intially been tricked but had caught the government out after further investigation. Not true. There was no digging here. No heroic investigative journalism. The journalists knew the full story from the start but, for whatever reason, chose not to tell us.