Toll increase for trucks under Queensland road upgrade proposal


New road upgrade in Queensland will come at a cost to the trucking industry.

Toll increase for trucks under Queensland road upgrade proposal
Transurban wants to increase heavy vehicle road tolls to fund a Queensland motorway upgrade.

 

Transport operators will be footing part of the bill for a new upgrade project on the Logan Motorway and Gateway Extension in Queensland.

The $450 million market-led proposal from Transurban Queensland would see widening works along the Gateway Extension Motorway, construction of new ramps to ease congestion at key points, and safety improvements along both roads.

The project will be funded through an increase in tolls for heavy vehicles using the route.

Queensland Trucking Association CEO Peter Garske says the outcomes of reduced congestion, improved safety, and lower maintenance costs will be worth the impost.

"The association supports the project delivering improved efficiency and productivity for transport businesses, while also upgrading safety for the road network," Garske says.

"Any works that ultimately deliver savings for business will be welcomed by our members across the transport, freight, and logistics industries."

The Royal Automobile Club of Queensland and state treasurer Curtis Pitt have also offered qualified support for the plan.

"This proposal is a great example of industry bringing their ideas to the table and working with government to facilitate them," Pitt says.

"Based on Transurban’s initial modelling, the project is expected to create more than 1,300 new jobs during construction and generate more than $1.2 billion in economic benefits for Queenslanders."

But not everyone is excited about the proposed funding scheme.

NatRoad president Allan Thornley says he is concerned that there has been very little industry consultation over the project.

"Margins in the transport sector are tight. Increased costs will need to be passed on, which will mean increased prices in consumer goods and services to the general community," Thornley says.

"Industry supports the continuing development of vital infrastructure upgrades and developments.

"But the way to do that is by a consultative and cooperative engagement with all road users, to determine the best mix of funding and appropriate increases in user charges."

Pitt is expecting to receive Transurban’s final proposal late next year, after which the government will decide whether to proceed with it as printed, modify the plan, or consider other options.

You can also follow our updates by liking us on Facebook