NSW government toll reform plan criticised by Labor

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Dominic Perrottet has revealed Sydney road tolls could face a major overhaul but the plan is under fire over concerns some people could be worse off.

Dominic Perrottet’s plan to reduce the cost of driving by reforming the NSW toll system has been condemned for leaving western Sydney residents worse off.

The Premier said his government was hoping to ease cost-of-living pressures in the short term.

“That’s the number one issue that people are talking about over the family dinner table every single night,” he said.

Mr Perrottet has proposed a distance-based system to toll charges which would see motorists pay based on how far they are travelling on a toll road, as opposed to which road they are using.

In the current system, e-toll tag registers when a car drives through a toll gate no matter how long they are travelling for.

“Distance-based tolling makes a lot of sense – it’s a fairer way,” Mr Perrottet said.

The operator of the majority of Sydney’s toll roads, Transurban, told investors on Monday that they would be likely to benefit from inflation-linked toll charges, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

Tolls on six Transurban operated motorways are set to rise by two per cent from July 1, including the M2, the Cross City Tunnel, the M7 and NorthConnex.

Labor leader Chris Minns said the plan was flawed because people who lived in Sydney’s outer west would be disadvantaged.

“Over the last 10 years of the Liberal National Government in this state, the majority of public infrastructure, public transport infrastructure has been spent east of Parramatta,” Mr Minns said.

“The majority of population growth was west of Parramatta and in effect, those that live in the east have got access to new public transport, those that live in the west have got access to new toll roads”

“The toll road companies aren’t going to take less, so some people are going to have to pay more, my fear is that’ll be people who live west of Parramatta.”

The NRMA has backed the state government’s plans saying it would make the system more consistent across the board.

“As long as it’s a consistent standard approach it’s about how often you drive on those roads rather than which suburb you live in or which part of Sydney you live in. A distance based approach is something the NRMA would welcome,” NRMA spokesman Peter Khoury said.

Originally published as Perrottet government plan to make tolls fairer criticised for missing mark

Read related topics:Dominic Perrottet

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