Motions Accorded Priority - Western Sydney Toll Roads

Dr HUGH McDERMOTT (Prospect) [3.31 p.m.]: Once again the Baird Government is attacking people in Western Sydney, but this time it is using tolls. The Carr Government removed the tolls but within a period of five years this Government brought them back. A raft of new tolls will be imposed on the mums, dads, tradies and people travelling to work. It was all settled and decided without public consultation or transparency. The Baird Government has done another backdoor deal that will adversely affect the people of Western Sydney. The M4 is currently free of tolls. Those of us who live in Western Sydney will remember the days of expensive tolls taking so much of our salaries and wages. Each time a tradesman used the M4 on the way to a job he was charged. The Carr Government removed those tolls. I note that the member for Oxley is awake.

Mr Gareth Ward: We build roads.

Dr HUGH McDERMOTT: The blowhole from Kiama is talking. The toll on the M4 will be introduced at some time between 2016 and 2017, when the current road widening is finished. The toll will cover Parramatta to Homebush, an area currently free from tolls. Private contractors will receive a toll for 43 years, expiring in 2060. An entire generation will be paying tolls—something for which I am sure my children will be thankful. The toll will be $4.41 each way between Parramatta and Homebush, amounting to almost $10. At the time Labor abolished the toll in 2010 it was $2.75. It has almost doubled in price. The cost to a commuter travelling on the M4 on the way to work will be $2,000 per year, which is appalling for hardworking Western Sydney families and tradesmen. It will increase by 4 per cent or the consumer price index each year, whichever is greater. It could increase by more than the rate of inflation, making it more and more expensive for Western Sydney families. A toll will be placed on the M4 and M5 and NorthConnex. Time and again this Government has betrayed the people of Western Sydney and it is occurring with the use of tolls on this occasion. It is a disgrace.

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