Industry slams truck-only toll for Gateway WA

By: Ruza Zivkusic-Aftasi

WARTA says port-airport link will be paid for more quickly if all shoulder load

Industry slams truck-only toll for Gateway WA
Nalder: speaks of a win-win for industry and government


Plans to toll trucks only on Perth’s Roe Highway have sparked an outcry from the transport industry.

The Western Australian Government wants to toll heavy vehicles on the highway’s $1.6 billion five-kilometre extension from Kwinana Freeway to Stock Road in Coolbellup.

The Western Australian Road Transport Association (WARTA) CEO Ian King says the industry is being penalised for an infrastructure that offers more lanes to motorists.

"We understand the road is going to be a fast track from the airport through to Fremantle Port and that there will be higher productivity vehicles using it but why single out the road transport industry for a toll when really cars have four options to get to Fremantle when we’ve only got one?" King says.

"They’re penalising the transport industry when really they should be penalising everyone for using the road."

Any charge will have to be passed on to the consumer.

"There’s no secret about that – that’s what will happen," King adds.

"Why not charge cars as well? That will get the road paid for much quicker."

Times are tough for the transport industry, with the level of work down compared to last year, King says.

"The oversize and overmass are still doing business but not to the level of last year.

"The port operations are very tight and I think it’s going to get tighter because of what’s happening at the present time.

"I think there’s no silver cloud on the horizon, it is going to be a very hard year ahead."

Before the Federal Budget, WA Transport Minister Dean Nalder was quoted by media outlet Perth Now as saying he expected "any additional charge to the freight industry would need to be a win-win for government and industry".

Citing Liberal sources, Perth Now linked what turns out to be $611.4 million in Federal funding for the Gateway WA project to the toll.

The link will face environmental opposition as the route will pass through the Beeliar wetlands and due to the increased truck traffic in Fremantle.

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