Monday, 30 April 2018 11:21

Government response to toll inquiry lazy

Aerial view of M4 motorway looking towards the Sydney CBD. Aerial view of M4 motorway looking towards the Sydney CBD.

Media release 30 April, 2018

 

The Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) is concerned by the NSW Government’s dismissive response to the Parliamentary Inquiry into Sydney’s road tolls.

WSROC President, Cr Stephen Bali said “The Inquiry was set up to address legitimate concerns about inequity and lack of transparency in Sydney’s toll network.

“For example users of the M2 pay three to four times more on a return journey to the CBD as users of the M5 motorway – despite travelling a similar distance.

“The Inquiry clearly concluded that greater transparency and a review of tolling arrangements was in the public interest, but the Government has ignored this in favour of the status quo and inequality,” he said.

“This is an extremely disappointing and lazy response from the NSW Government, particularly for an issue which has such an immediate impact on the community and small businesses,” said Cr Bali.

“Tolls are a critical issue for the people of Western Sydney because lack of local jobs and public transport alternatives give residents little choice but to commute via toll road,” he said.

“The results of the Inquiry, published in October, offered a number of recommendations to improve the equity and transparency of Sydney’s current toll network including: a network-wide cap, limiting toll increases to the consumer price index, and greater transparency on future transport projects,” said Cr Bali.

“The Government has chosen to dismiss these recommendations,” he said.

“To suggest our current toll regime can’t be improved is ridiculous. If the status quo was producing the best outcomes for the community then we wouldn’t have had an Inquiry in the first place.

“The Government also slapped down suggestions that it could improve the transparency of future transport projects despite significant evidence to the contrary.

“One recommendation in particular – that Sydney Motorway Corporation be subject to the same levels of transparency as other public sector agencies – is a very reasonable request given the significant amount of taxpayer dollars being pumped through this corporation,” said Cr Bali

“In a perfect world, the public would feel confident that it could accept the Government’s business cases on face value, but recent events have shown that we simply cannot.

“The Government claims reform may be ‘lengthy and complex’, however Sydney’s concentrated toll road ownership should be seen as an opportunity to facilitate reform not avoid it.

“We need to get the model right. A little extra work today will set us up for a fairer, more equitable future,” said Cr Bali.

 

[ENDS]

 

Media contact: Kelly-Anne Gee, 02 9671 4333 (ext. 118), 0425 871 868 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

 

Further information:

Final report: Parliamentary Inquiry into Road tolling in New South Wales (20 October 2017)

Government response: Inquiry into Road Tolling in NSW (20 April 2018)

WSROC media release: Network-wide cap recommended following Inquiry (30 October 2017)

WSROC media release: WSROC welcomes toll inquiry but seeks broader approach (21 March 2017)

WSROC media release: WSROC seeks review of Sydney toll inequity (4 December 2015)

Last modified on Monday, 30 April 2018 11:38

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