ROAD Freight NSW has called on the state government to consider allocating part of the proceeds from the sale of its remaining 49% stake in the WestConnex motorway for incentives aimed at assisting trucking operators struggling to pay tolls and administration costs.
RFNSW chief executive Simon O’Hara, said the government must do more to financially support truckies who were increasingly being forced on to new toll-roads, like Sydney’s NorthConnex.
“Currently, heavy vehicle tolls simply aren’t reflective of a fair and equitable ‘user-pays’ system,” Mr O’Hara said.
“Unlike light vehicles, trucks increasingly, have no other option but to use these expensive toll-roads, due to government regulation.
“We’re calling on the government to utilise part of the proceeds of the future WestConnex sale to fund new measures aimed at financially supporting the transport industry, such as reducing rego fees or providing a specific cash back to freight operators.”
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Mr O’Hara said RFNSW was calling for, at least, a cap on heavy vehicle tolls to offer some level of support to hard-working truckies, who had struggled to cope with increases in tolls and landside port surcharges, during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Saying to NSW Road Freight that you did an exceptional job during COVID for the community doesn’t pay the bills,” he said. “Now it seems, perversely, truckies seem to be the cash cow for toll-road operators, port operations and government, with no relief in sight.”