Sydneysiders bearing brunt of toxic toll arrangements - Tolling Inquiry report slams NSW Coalition Government’s record on toll road privatisation

The Legislative Council's Transport Committee today handed down its long-awaited report on the State's road tolling regime.

The Committee has found that NSW drivers now undertake more than one million toll trips each day, paying more than $2 billion in tolls every year.

The Committee has recommended a number of measures to reduce the burden on Sydneysiders, including the urgent reduction in the outrageous administrative fees being levied by Transurban that have led to far too many people, particularly across Western Sydney, drowning under tens of thousands of dollars of debt in addition to unpaid toll amounts. The report also contains recommendations to ensure toll relief for truck and bus drivers, in recognition of the broader benefit for all of us when we take these large vehicles off of our suburban streets.

 

Abigail Boyd, Chair of the Committee and Greens Transport spokesperson, said:

‘The Liberal-National Government has let Transurban line its pockets at the expense of Sydneysiders for too long. It breaks my heart to have heard so many stories of people, already doing it so tough across our State, being forced to give so much of their income to Transurban just to get to work, to take their kids to school, to get to vital medical appointments. 

‘We are in a cost of living crisis, and yet the Perrottet Government is allowing private tolling mega-corporations get away with highway robbery completely unchecked. This report paves the road to the sensible and equitable tolling reform our State so desperately needs.

‘Sydney is fast becoming one of the most unlivable cities in the world. The sheer number of toll roads, and the amount of money they take out of Sydneysiders’ pockets, just keeps increasing. With tolls hitting residents in Sydney’s west, southwest and northwest hardest, it’s the people least able to afford this out-of-control tolling regime that are being hit the hardest by it.

‘The NSW Government’s privatisation agenda has boxed us into a corner when it comes to what we do next on tolls. Locked into decades-long contracts with predatory tolling operators that mandate constant price increases and prevent infrastructure development that, although beneficial to the public, might ‘compete’ with private toll roads, the Coalition Government has lost control over Sydney’s roads.

‘To ensure that our road network services community need not corporate greed, we are recommending the adoption of a network pricing model, including the introduction of toll caps and appropriate flag falls, a review of the rate of pricing escalation and an urgent reduction in the exorbitant administration fees charged by operators.’ 

 

The report is available on the NSW Parliament website here

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