TWU labels NSW toll charge relief as pitiful


Union accuses Dominic Perrottet of offering a band-aid solution for a bullet wound over exorbitant Sydney toll road costs

TWU labels NSW toll charge relief as pitiful
The TWU says toll road expenses for owner-drivers and fleet operators can amount up to thousands of dollars each week.

 

The Transport Workers Union (TWU) has taken aim at NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet’s recent toll relief announcement as grossly inadequate, likening it to a band-aid on a bullet wound.

It follows NatRoad’s call for relief for heavy vehicle operators, with some companies copping an annual toll bill of up to $100,000.

Perrottet announced on October 12 that small businesses, including owner-drivers and fleet operators, would be able to claim a rebate of up to $2,000 for various state government fees and charges incurred between March 1 this year and June 30, 2022 – including road tolls.

However, the TWU called the rebate amount pitiful, working out to around $28.60 per week, which it says is around the same cost as a single one-way trip on NorthConnex or WestConnex for heavy vehicles.

NSW premier Dominic Perrottet.

TWU NSW state secretary Richard Olsen says the announcement by the NSW Premier showed just how out of touch the NSW Government is with the extreme pressures caused by Sydney’s out of control toll roads.

"While it’s good the NSW Government have finally woken up to the toll road crisis in Sydney, a one-off toll relief announcement of $2,000 over a 70 week period won’t even touch the sides for owner-drivers and fleet operators in Sydney.

"Owner-drivers and fleet operators across Sydney are spending hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on road tolls every week, and our new Premier is patting himself on the back for offering pitiful relief of less than $30 a week."

Olsen says the pitiful toll relief announcement is a band-aid on a bullet wound. He adds that owner-drivers and fleet operators need relief that is substantial and ongoing, not a one-off half-measure.

"Mr Perrottet said on his first day in the job that western Sydney would be at the heart of his government – clearly that didn’t extend to transport workers in western Sydney who are the hardest hit by his Government’s toll roads."

The announcement comes after a parliamentary inquiry recently heard evidence that the Toll Group had instructed its employees and owner-drivers to avoid toll roads, because "in most cases, the cost of the toll roads outweighs any benefit [they] receive from using them".

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