No decision on possible flyover appeal

TESSA JOHNSTONE
Last updated 05:00 25/07/2014

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The Government is staying tight-lipped about whether it will appeal the Basin Reserve flyover decision when the final report is released at the end of August.

The $90 million Basin Reserve flyover was denied resource consent by a board of inquiry in a draft decision released on Tuesday. A final report and decision will be released on August 30.

Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee was waiting for advice from the NZ Transport Agency, which would come "some time in the next 20 days", a spokesman for the minister said.

"We haven't made any decisions [on an appeal], so we're waiting for advice from NZTA who are presently reviewing the decision and assessing what, if anything, they may do. So we're not in a position to make any further comment," he said.

Agency spokesman Anthony Frith said talk of an appeal would be speculative until a final decision had been released. "Our focus at present is on reviewing the details of the draft decision."

Following the release of the final decision, any party involved in the board of inquiry process, including the agency, Greater Wellington Regional Council, Wellington City Council, the Environment Minister and those who made submissions could appeal, but only on "points of law" rather than a general appeal against the decision.

An appeal on a point of law could include questioning the way in which the board interpreted and applied the Resource Management Act, an Environmental Protection Authority spokeswoman said.

The agency had said the project would create 120 jobs, though the Manufacturing and Construction Workers Union said they would be only temporary.

Wellington Employers' Chamber of Commerce president John Milford said the decision would hold Wellington back for years.

Grade separation had to be put in place and he pointed out the National War Memorial Underpass did not require board of inquiry sign-off.

"We can't stand still. We need to develop a Plan B and we need the Government's help to do that."

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