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NSW Labor demands urgent relief for small operators

small businesses

NSW Labor says the Berejiklian Government should consider offering vehicle registration and Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance relief for small businesses in the transport industry as they struggle to survive the COVID-19 downturn.

Labor’s call comes amid fears that high tolls, CTP premiums and registration fees will soon force a wave of small businesses closures.

One minibus owner said that if he has to pay over $10,000 in CTP premiums and registration charges, he will have to shut down. The suspension of international travel means he no longer earns enough revenue to cover his fixed costs.

Shadow Minister for Finance and Small Business, Daniel Mookhey said conditions are dire.

“So many small businesses in the transport industry are facing Australia’s slowest recovery,” said Mookhey.

“They’re worried sick that by the time conditions improve, their businesses will be long gone. The NSW Government shouldn’t charge them fees while their vehicles sit idle in the garage.

“Too many tradies, truckies and minibus owners will hit the wall unless they get more help with their rego fees and CTP Premiums.”

“The Berejiklian Government should be doing everything in its power to support small businesses struggling to survive this recession.”

The NSW Government has steadfastly refused to buckle to pressure from Labor and other industry stakeholders to give operators a toll break on Sydney roads.

At a recent media event to mark the connecting of the final two stages of WestConnex in Sydney, Transport and Roads Minister Andrew Constance told journalists the government did not have a balance sheet to build a motorway such as WestConnex in its own right.

“We have to unfortunately have tolls. Things have to be paid for. But again, this is why this city will never, ever have a congestion tax,” he said.

“We actually have tolls in place so that people get a benefit in terms of new roads as opposed to just government collecting a congestion tax and pocketing the money.”

By 2023, Sydney will have 12 toll roads, including the M4-M5 Link. A year later, the first stage of a tolled extension of the renamed M6 motorway in Sydney’s south is due to open to motorists, followed several years afterwards by the Western Harbour Tunnel and Beaches Link.

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