MPs pe­ti­tion against tolls

La­bor rep­re­sen­ta­tives vow to fight Baird Gov­ern­ment’s M4 Mo­tor­way pro­posal

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS - Elisha Pearce

WESTERN Syd­ney La­bor MPs are con­fi­dent of forc­ing a par­lia­men­tary de­bate about planned tolls on the M4 Mo­tor­way.

The MPs launched a pe­ti­tion against the tolls, which the NSW Gov­ern­ment an­nounced last year, and now have 9702 sig­na­tures.

If the pe­ti­tion reaches 10,000 sig­na­tures there will be a par­lia­men­tary de­bate and the min­is­ter would have to re­spond.

Last week, the five La­bor MPs pre­sented the cur­rent pe­ti­tion to their col­league and Op­po­si­tion spokes­woman for roads Jodi McKay.

Lon­don­derry state La­bor MP Prue Car is a vo­cal op­po­nent of the planned tolls.

“Western Syd­ney has spo­ken,” Ms Car de­clared.

“It is clear that peo­ple are fed up with the se­crecy and lies sur­round­ing the Baird Gov­ern­ment’s new M4 toll.”

Ms Car said Western Syd­ney res­i­dents com­mut­ing to work couldn’t af­ford to pay large tolls to use the new West­con­nex net­work.

“This toll will have huge im­pacts on house­hold bud­gets for fam­i­lies right across Western Syd­ney,” Ms Car said.

“Mike Baird is go­ing to slug Western Syd­ney com­muters up to $42 a week just

to get to work.

“His Gov­ern­ment sim­ply does not un­der­stand Western Syd­ney.”

The tolls are due to start in 2017 on the first stretch of ex­panded mo­tor­way, and run un­til at least 2060.

When the M4 is widened and the West­con­nex tun­nel built, driv­ers will be able to use the M4 un­til Haber­field.

Driv­ers could pay up to $4.21 to use the widened stretch of the M4 be­tween Church St at Par­ra­matta and Home­bush and tolls will even­tu­ally be put on the West­con­nex tun­nel.

The NSW Op­po­si­tion has pre­vi­ously in­tro­duced leg­is­la­tion in Par­lia­ment that would re­quire new toll fig­ures to be ap­proved by the In­de­pen­dent Pric­ing and Reg­u­la­tory Tri­bunal.

The first of four road tun­nelling ma­chines went into the ground on July 18.

An­other length of West­con­nex road was an­nounced in July, with a new in­ter­change and tun­nel on Vic­to­ria Rd at Iron Cove Bridge.

The road aims to make it eas­ier for mo­torists to get to An­zac Bridge.

Mike Baird is go­ing to slug com­muters up to $42 a week to get to work PRUE CAR

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