I hope everyone is getting through winter okay, and I guess we are all looking forward to the first day of spring. I don’t know about you, but to me the year seems to be moving very quickly.
I am enjoying being part of a big, strong and well-organised Opposition with a laser focus on holding this Government to account. We will do this in a positive way, supporting legislation and decisions we feel are good for our country and opposing, organising petitions and running campaigns against poor decisions. We don’t want to see our economy slow down or stall, but at a time when we see, for example, Australia’s economy begin to speed up, ours is beginning to show all the signs of a slowdown.
A strong economy and business confidence are important because that is what allows us as a nation to generate the revenue we need to provide for our infrastructure, services and growth. It’s great to be able to make the drive between Puhoi and Warkworth and see all the activity going on with the construction of the new motorway. One of the battles for me this term is to work on getting the Government to reverse its decision not to commit to the Warkworth to Te Hana section of the motorway. I am already assisting property owners who are deeply affected by the decision. It creates uncertainty and traps them in a situation that they have very little control over.
I have received a lot of feedback in relation to the regional fuel tax and most of it I couldn’t print in this column. The anger is understandable when you consider our transport network in Rodney is already tolled, we are subject to an excise tax and are now hit with a regional fuel tax. Meanwhile, two of our most important roading projects have either been cancelled or put back 10 years. One is Warkworth to Te Hana and the second is Penlink in the south of the electorate.
By the way, it’s nice to be supporting Peter Thompson and the Mahurangi River Restoration Trust in their efforts to secure Government funding for a project that will deliver very positive environmental and economic outcomes for the area. Peter has put a lot into this project personally and I was able to see the work that is already underway from the comfort of the Jane Gifford recently.
Mark Mitchell, National MP for Rodney