The Transport Workers’ Union is organising a united convoy protest action against the increasing industry costs of Toll Roads. The NSW Government / Transurban road toll deals which are killing businesses and leaving us in debt for the future.
Truck drivers, their families and supporters convoy will roll from 2:15pm today in protest
Destination: Pennant Hills Road.
Date: 12 September 2020
1:00pm Drivers and Trucks start gathering at Mars Road, Lane Cove
2:15pm Convoy Vehicles leave Mars Road
Convoy will drive to Observatory Park at Pennant Hills – Opposite NorthConnex Site and will loop around the park and Pennant Hills Road.
3:00pm Press Conference at Observatory Park, Opposite NorthConnex Site.
Parking: Wilson Street, Pennant Hills walk over the overbridge crossing Pennant Hills Road to Observatory Park.
Who: TWU Members; Richard Olsen, State Secretary of the Transport Workers’ Union in NSW; John Graham, NSW Shadow Roads Minister; Daniel Mookhey, Shadow Minister for Finance and Small Business, and Shadow Minister for the Gig Economy; Mark Morey, Unions NSW; Tony Sheldon, Australian Senator; Heavy Vehicles, Light Vehicles.
The Transport industry is integral to our lives and economies so the cost of doing business must be fairly shared.
Transport workers are having to take a stand because the debt left to our children and grandchildren by the 40-year deal created between the NSW Government and the toll road Operator Transurban, also trading as Linkt, is a rort.
Richard Olsen, State Secretary of the Transport Workers’ Union of NSW said drivers would turn out in force to highlight the toll road rort. “Transport workers and the people of NSW had no say in the deal. The toll road monopoly in NSW has allowed toll road bully Transurban to rort transport workers through tolls and administration fees. This has left our members frustrated, unable to see over the mounting pile of expensive toll notices on their kitchen tables.”
“This 40-year deal with the NSW Government will put a stranglehold on small trucking business and their families for decades. These drivers are out working hard each day transporting goods for the people of NSW and providing for their families. It is sickening to think that thousands of dollars of their earnings each year will line the pockets of a company, which last year made $4 billion in revenue and which paid its CEO over $7 million,” he added.
Transport workers now face Government based discrimination, through the forced use of the NorthConnex toll road by heavy vehicles or drivers and operators will face fines. Trucks will be banned off Pennant Hills Road.
Toll road costs continue to rise.
The TWU is calling on the NSW Government to ensure:
- No New Tolls.
- Compensation for any toll road increases from 2020 and that compensation scheme will remain in place until the pandemic is finished.
- A cap on the tolls commercial vehicles pay.
- In the future the NSW Government and Transurban will help operators of commercial vehicles facing hardship, even though Linkt and Transurban are currently refusing to do so.
- Industry Agreements will include clauses that include compensation for the costs of using toll roads.
- Government will make cost recovery easier by locking fair payment times into legislation. Transport industry businesses and owner-drivers should be paid within 30 days.
- Government can show leadership and share the responsibility for a fairer industry to ensure all Government contracts include enforceable minimum standards and rates.
In the midst of the current pandemic, transport operators, including owner drivers have borne the brunt of Covid pain while Transurban increased toll prices and ignored the Pandemic.
Toll prices will continue to increase by 4 percent each year even though the Australian economy is in recession. They face competition that undercuts their businesses from organisations like Uber freight, Amazon Flex and Australia Post who are undercutting the industry and exploiting their workers.
Costs are accelerating to the point that many transport workers and small business owners in NSW can no longer afford to work and maintain a vehicle safely.
Mr Olsen said, “Transurban is targeting heavy vehicles to raise profits for their infrastructure business. In the meantime income for transport workers is shrinking while costs are accelerating. Drivers are in many cases are unable to recover their costs from their clients.
Mr Olsen said: “In NSW Toll Roads are not providing a “congestion busting” solution. They are just a rort. Transurban CEO Scott Charlton plans to extend this rort and the debt he has created in league with the NSW Government out to 50 years. Transurban wants the Sydney Western Harbour Tunnel project and the proposed connection of the M7 to Badgery’s Creek.”
The TWU is also aware that through the use of a trust fund, toll road bully, Transurban is avoiding tax. The Union is calling on the Federal Government to abolish this added rort.
“If Gladys Berejiklian, Scott Morrison and Josh Frydenberg really do have the best interests of our children and grandchildren at heart, rather than just the next election, they would outlaw these dodgy deals and tax rorts between Transurban and State Governments,” Mr Olsen said.
Media Inquiries – Colin Henderson – 0405 625 208