Clifford Bay business case ripe for more investigation

Article – BusinessDesk

Nov. 1 (BusinessDesk) – The government is assembling a team led by Treasury and transport officials to further investigate building a $422 million inter-island road and rail freight port at Clifford Bay, says Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee.

Clifford Bay business case ‘strong enough’ for further investigation, Brownlee says

Nov. 1 (BusinessDesk) – The government is assembling a team led by Treasury and transport officials to further investigate building a $422 million inter-island road and rail freight port at Clifford Bay, says Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee.

“Cabinet believes the business case we’ve been presented is strong enough to justify further testing the viability of this major change to New Zealand’s transport infrastructure,” Brownlee said in a statement.

The announcement came as the government released the fourth of six progress reports under its Business Growth Agenda, called Building Infrastructure, which totes up spending on projects ranging from the $5.5 billion Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Fund to the $5 billion upgrade of the national grid.

Moving to Clifford Bay from the existing wharves at Picton could lead to larger ships plying the route, while cutting the journey time between Wellington and Christchurch by 80 minutes by ferry/road and 110 minutes by ferry/rail. The government is considering making the project a private/public partnership, with companies including Infratil expressing interest.

Other potential benefits would be lower fuel costs, reduced carbon emissions and smaller maintenance costs for rail and ferries, Brownlee said.

The announcement will be a relief for stakeholders including Port Marlborough, the district council and Wellington’s CentrePort, who have felt out of the loop on the government’s deliberations.

“I have discussed today’s news with some key stakeholders, including the Marlborough District Council, Port Marlborough, Strait Shipping, CentrePort and KiwiRail’s Interislander to inform them of our decision to proceed to the next stage,” Brownlee said.

“They understand that this decision could potentially rewrite the transport map for the country and the government is prepared to take the time required to make the right decision for New Zealand,” he said.

The review team will include government officials and private sector experts with a deadline of reporting back to the government by the end of April 2013. No details of the business case were released, with Brownlee saying the report was commercially sensitive and would affect ongoing negotiations.

The Building Infrastructure report sets out 67 initiatives to help build a more competitive economy, Finance Minister Bill English said. Future reports in the series will focus on natural resources and capital markets.

(BusinessDesk)

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2 comments:

  1. John McCaskey, 5. November 2012, 18:55

    The idea of Clifford Bay as a port should be dropped in favour of re-establishing the Lyttleton-Wellington ferry service.
    There have been many closures of St Hwy 1 (and the rail) over many years plus a growing number of accidents which can be expected to worsen.
    The old ferries gave great, reliable service to a country of less than 2m–now we are 4.4m. so don’t give me any crap about the idea not being feasable, after all some are stupid enough to think ETS is a good ldea-at least this is a practical means of lowering the much flaunted carbon polution and saving some of the funds us primary producers subsidise the country by earning–with no thanks!.
    That this is a political ploy driven by vested interests is obvious–too commercially sensitive to be made public yet presumably the stupid public will cough up the tax to fund it and still end up with a highly shonky unreliable main artery south/north.
    What consideration has been given to the dredging effects in relation to the nearby saltworks? How safe a habour would this be in a “Bola” like storm?
    A ferry ticket from Helsinki to Stockholm (overnight trip) cost me E40 (Nz$63) in a floating luxury (by NZ standards) hotel, to arrive, as one did in the days of “common sense NZ”, fully rested with a whole day ahead.

     
  2. Carol Cudby, 13. November 2012, 13:07

    I am Carol Cudby, editor of Kiwi Paradise, our new N.Z Intranzit Tourist magazine which is based on Picton and the Marlborough Sounds, including the Cook Strait Link.

    http://www.kiwiparadise.weebly.com
    em: carol@nsite.co.nz

    What are your views in regards to the inter-island port being moved from Picton to Clifford Bay, south of Seddon.?

    Our
    .