Roads

Country drivers pay for Labor’s Transurban deal

Tuesday 19 March 2019

Country motorists can’t get local pot holes fixed, but Daniel Andrews is shamelessly forcing them to pay for his West Gate Tunnel deal.

Country drivers coming to Melbourne via CityLink will take a hip pocket hit after the Andrews Labor Government signed up to a secretive deal with Transurban that will increase tolls to pay for a completely different new road – the West Gate Tunnel.

The Parliamentary Budget Office has released a report into the West Gate Tunnel Project and CityLink tolls which estimates the deal struck by the Andrews Labor Government with Transurban will cost motorists an extra $37.3 billion in tolls.

The analysis shows that $26.5 billion of that increase (around 71 per cent) will come exclusively from CityLink users – and that includes country drivers who use the tollway when coming in to the city via the Monash or Tullamarine Freeways.

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Regional Victoria and Decentralisation, Peter Walsh:

“This is another dud deal for country motorists from the Premier for Melbourne.

“We can’t even get the pot holes fixed on our crumbling country roads and yet we’re going to be forced to pay for Daniel Andrews’ dodgy Transurban deal when we come in to Melbourne.

“Daniel Andrews reckons he’s all about a fair go, but there is nothing fair for country motorists when they’re forced to pay for city infrastructure they aren’t even using.

“Farmers who drive utes to Melbourne and use CityLink are already unfairly hit with a premium commercial toll and now, thanks Daniel Andrews’, they will be paying more - even if that ute is the family car.

“The cost of doing business and moving fresh produce and freight across the state via Melbourne will also skyrocket.

“Labor ripped $160 million from local councils’ roads budgets in the last four years, and slashed even more from the VicRoads country maintenance budget yet arrogant Daniel Andrews is forcing country motorists to subsidise Melbourne’s infrastructure.

“Last year Labor MPs refused to support a Liberal Nationals’ amendment to the Transport Legislation Amendment Bill that would have increased funding for country roads.

“Labor’s refusal to listen to country motorists and fund our local roads is now even more galling as Daniel Andrews arrogantly slugs country motorists to pay for his new Melbourne tunnel.”

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