Opinion

Transurban is targeting heavy vehicles to raise profits

TWU-column-Transurban

Trucks and cars rolled in protest, transport workers have called on NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian to focus on dealing with the financial pain NSW Government policies are bringing.

The double dipping into the wallets of transport workers needs stopping. The Government’s focus on the next election is not helping the income of drivers and operators.

Politicians are advised to look instead at stopping the dodgy deals that are going down between companies like Transurban and State Governments that are leaving us and our children in debt for the future. 

Transport workers had no say in the deal. Without consultation, without a thought for the struggles we already face, transport operators, including owner drivers who are running small businesses are bearing the brunt of Covid pain while Transurban increases toll prices and ignores the Pandemic.

Transurban is targeting heavy vehicles to raise profits for their infrastructure business and your State Government is letting them suck the money out of our wallets.

The amount of money that Transurban has rorted from transport workers has left our members frustrated, unable to see over the mounting pile of expensive toll notices on their kitchen tables.

Transurban CEO Scott Charlton will extend this toll road rort and the debt he has created in league with the NSW Government out to 50 years. Transurban wants the Sydney Western Harbour Tunnel project and the proposed connection of the M7 to Badgery’s Creek.

It gets worse, there are reports now out that show this rapacious company through a trust fund is now avoiding tax, a burden that we all should bear – though less of it would always be nice.

In the meantime, heavy vehicles in NSW are being forced to use the NorthConnex toll road, or face a fine. The duty of care for the transport industry is in the hands of a business who are after you for your revenue opportunities.

Your take home pay is shrinking while costs are accelerating. Every day someone wants more of your money. Whether that be fuel excise, rego costs, the increasing costs of doing business. The costs are accelerating to the point that many transport workers, small business owners in NSW can no longer afford to work and maintain a vehicle. Your income is under threat.

Uber freight, Amazon Flex and Australia Post are among the many corporations working to undercut the industry and exploit workers to maintain their company profits.

We must stand together to lock in the standards for a safer and fairer transport industry.

The future needs no new tolls, a toll compensation system for commercial vehicles for any toll road increases from 2020 and a toll costs cap. No owner-driver or employee-driver should have to pay for a toll out of their own pocket while working and Industry Agreements will include clauses that include compensation for the costs of using toll roads.

Payments times must be locked into legislation to enable business to continue moving and government can assist ensuring contracts include enforceable minimum standards and rates.

The transport industry is an important part of keeping life and our economy going so the cost of doing business must be fairly shared.

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