The Berejiklian Government has confirmed it will slap a great big new tax on Western Sydney when it reintroduces unfair and unaffordable tolls on the widened M4 as part of WestConnex in mid-July.
Regular users on the M4 will face a one-way toll of $4.56 which amounts to $2,188 a year for a motorist travelling to and from work each day.
Minister for Western Sydney and Penrith MP Stuart Ayres is cynically attempting to buy the goodwill of Western Sydney residents by giving them a month’s grace before he turns the tolls back on.
Labor took the tolls off in 2010 when the road was paid for; the Liberals are putting it back on for the next 43 years.
Despite releasing a glossy new brochure spruiking the concept of the third and final stage of WestConnex – the link between the M4 and M5 – the Mr Ayres and Premier Berejiklian were unable to confirm exactly when the M4 will open.
The distance-based toll of $1.77 and $4.56 will be placed on the new section of the M4 between Parramatta and Homebush.
The news on the tolls comes as the Liberal Government effectively washes its hands of the $16.8 billion WestConnex toll road with the announcement that it will sell off the toll road later this year well before its completion date.
Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Roads Jodi McKay
“We are saying to the Government – don’t put a toll on the M4, it is not fair on the people of Western Sydney’.
“At a time when the cost of living is really biting in Western Sydney, these are unfair and unaffordable tolls into the distant future.
“It has become such a mismanaged debacle that the Government is washing its hands of it and handing the project over to the private sector – that’s not fair to the people of NSW.
Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister Assisting the Leader of the Opposition on Western Sydney Prue Car
“Western Sydney commuters are furious that they will be paying this great big new tax to Gladys Berejiklian for 43 years.
“The announcement of just a four-week grace period is an insult to hard working Western Sydney families – it’s a kick in the guts.”