More tolls on the horizon for Macarthur motorists under secret Berejiklian sale plan

07 September 2017

Motorists from southwestern Sydney face paying tolls of more than $2,000 a year for the next 40 years under secret plans by the Berejiklian Government to extend the toll on the M5 South West motorway.

In Wednesday in the NSW Parliament WestConnex Minister revealed that he plans to incorporate the M5 South West Motorway into WestConnex and sell it on to the private sector.

Part of the plan would involve selling the right to toll the M5 South West Motorway as part of the Government’s sale of 51 per cent of the Sydney Motorway Corporation, the government-controlled body delivering WestConnex.

The toll on the 22-kilometre stretch of the M5 South West Motorway was due to come off in 2026 but in line with other WestConnex tolls could be extended into the 2060s, rising by 4 per cent or the rate of inflation every year.

A from South West Sydney using the M5 to commute to and from work would pay $9.20 a day in tolls, which equates to $2,162 annually – before accounting for annual increases.

In a Budget Estimates hearing on Wednesday Mr Ayres was asked if he was contemplating selling the toll concession for the M5 as part of its overall sale of the Sydney Motorway Corporation, Mr Ayres replied:

"That will be part of the commercial negotiations of the sale of the SMC…...

It is a commercial option for the Government."

The WestConnex Minister also conceded that motorists from Liverpool, Campbelltown, Camden would not get any improvements at all to the road, despite the fact that they will be paying tolls for decades to come.

The revelations were unearthed just as Premier Berejiklian met with the region’s business leaders yet she neglected to tell them that their customers, employees and families would be saddled with tolls for years to come.

Quotes attributable to NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley

"Wherever you drive in Sydney the Premier has her hand in motorists’ pockets."

"The M5 was due to be paid off by 2026 but now as part of a privatisation scam this Government is extending it to the 2060s. This is just an exercise in fattening WestConnex for market day.

"The Premier says she is worried about the cost of living but that doesn’t appear to apply to people living in western and southwestern Sydney who face paying unfair and unaffordable tolls for decades to come." 

Quotes attributable to Campbelltown MP Greg Warren

"The fact is this road has already been paid for and is scheduled to cease in 2026. Why should hardworking and frustrated road users have to pay more than they have while getting nothing in return?

"This is yet another sneaky act by a spiteful Government that’s clearly out of touch with the challenges and hardships of many local families, local businesses and hardworking people in Campbelltown and Macarthur.

"More sell off by stealth by a Government to pay for their own failings and blowouts in the inner west, eastern suburbs and north shore – our community is right to be outraged as am I.

"I will be fighting this outrageous decision the whole way to ensure that our community and local families have a strong voice on this issue."

Quotes attributable to Macquarie Fields MP Anoulack Chanthivong

"You just can’t trust this Government. For struggling workers and families, the extension of the M5 toll will be an absolute disaster. Household budgets are already stretched to the max.

"I will fight tooth and nail to stop the extension of the toll and I will not stand by and let motorists from our region get whacked with unfair tolls.

"Under this Government it seems the M5 toll will never ever be abolished. It’s an absolute disgrace and sums up everything that is rotten about this Government.

"The M5 is already a carpark and people are doing it tough, yet this Government is set to rob our pockets yet again."