Sydney’s out of control toll road crisis has reached new heights, with the transport industry beginning to boycott toll roads altogether due to the exorbitant costs.
In a parliamentary inquiry hearing today, the Transport Workers Union revealed that Toll Group – the biggest freight company in Australia – has instructed its workforce to not use toll roads because “in most cases, the cost of the toll roads outweighs any benefit we receive from using them”.
The instruction from Toll Group to its workforce to avoid toll roads was communicated in a Toolbox Briefing documentfor their Woolworths site in Minchinbury, dated May 2021.
TWU NSW State Secretary Richard Olsen said that the move from such a major company was all the proof needed that Sydney’s toll roads have reached crisis point.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re an owner-driver trying to run a small business, or a massive multinational company like Toll Group, Sydney’s toll roads are simply too expensive” Mr Olsen said.
“Quarter after quarter of compounding increases in tolls are just making the burden on the transport industry more and more severe – and now drivers are increasingly being left with no choice but to boycott toll roads, which means more trucks on suburban streets.”
“And of course, there’s the outrageous example of NorthConnex – where truck drivers have to pay a $25 toll each-way, or get a $194 fine if they don’t. It’s clear that coercion is the only way the NSW Government and Transurban can get people to use their overpriced toll roads.”
“Something needs to change, and it needs to change now. The transport industry can’t go on like this.”
Unable or unwilling to defend the Government’s track record on toll roads during the hearing, Nationals MLC Wes Fang instead made a shameless attempt to discredit the authenticity of the document and, failing in that endeavour, suggested there was doubt as to what Toll Group meant by saying toll roads were not worth using in “most cases”.
The NSW Liberal-National Government has presided over an explosion in the number of privately owned toll roads in Sydney, with Transurban partially or fully owning every toll road in Sydney except the Sydney Harbour Bridge/Tunnel.
Just this week it has been revealed that over the next 40 years, the private companies owning Sydney’s toll roads are set to rake in toll revenue that exceeds the build cost of the roads by more than 6 times in some cases.
Video footage of the inquiry will be available on the NSW Parliament YouTube channel after the conclusion of today’s hearing.
Media Contact: Mitch Wright – 0430 186 590