The Member for Northern Victoria Wendy Lovell said locals driving to Melbourne via CityLink would take a hip pocket hit after the Andrews Labor Government signed 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 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 Mildura drivers who use the tollway when coming in to the city via the Monash or Tullamarine Freeways.
“Roads throughout sections of country Victoria are in appalling condition due to funding cuts by the Andrews Labor Government yet the arrogant Premier for Melbourne is making us help pay for his new Melbourne tunnel.
“Country Victorian communities can’t even get pot holes fixed on our crumbling country roads but under Daniel Andrews’ sneaky deal with Transurban, we’ll be forced to pay for city infrastructure we aren’t even using.
“This is hugely unfair, especially when there are so many roads throughout country Victoria that are in such a state of disrepair.
“It is gobsmacking that while refusing to fix country roads; Daniel Andrews is arrogantly slugging country drivers to pay for his Melbourne tunnel deal.”
Labor has axed the $160 million Country Roads and Bridges program and slashed hundreds of thousands more from VicRoads country maintenance budget. 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.
Ms Lovell said the cost of doing business would also skyrocket because of Labor’s deal.
“Commercial vehicles already pay higher tolls, so any movement of fresh produce or freight that goes across the state via Melbourne will also cost more with Labor’s toll increases, and there will be a third commercial category added under this new deal.” Ms Lovell said.
“The last thing farmers and regional businesses need is escalating costs, but that’s exactly what the Premier for Melbourne’s dodgy Transurban deal delivers.”
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