NSW Government urged to include heavy vehicles in tolls think tank

The New South Wales Government is being urged not to forget the road transport industry when it considers options for making road tolls fairer for motorway users.

The National Road Transport Association made the call to NSW Regional Transport and Roads following news that NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet has asked his Treasury to examine options for further subsidies and concessions for motorists.

NatRoad CEO Warren Clark said he had contacted the offices of Roads Minister Paul Toole and Treasurer Matt Kean to raise the issue.

“It’s important that the trucking industry isn’t left behind on this,” Clark said.

“NatRoad gave evidence to a Parliamentary inquiry earlier this year that the excessively high tolls imposed by private companies were a disincentive to heavy vehicles using motorways.”

The Association have been advocating on behalf of the transport industry for rebates – or discounts – for multi-use of tollways and have also lobbied for the creation of an independent tolling authority to set fair prices.

“We acknowledged that the Perrottet Government is under pressure to respond to criticism that NSW is among the world’s highest tolling jurisdictions,” Clark added.

“We are pleased that the Government is having a re-think but there are two important facts from the road transport industry’s perspective.”

Clark explained that contractual or practical reasons, most transport operators have to absorb the cost of tolls and with most existing on a 2.5 per cent profit margin, that’s making their lives harder.

“What the heavy vehicle industry pays in tolls bears no relation to what’s being spent to maintain or improve toll roads,” he said.

Clark said he was also encouraged by the NSW Government seriously considering NatRoad’s call for the reinstatement of speed camera warning signs, made in a separate appearance before a Parliamentary inquiry.

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