TWU to fight Perth Freight Link tolls for trucks only

Union's Tim Dawson says present plans for the toll on the Perth Freight Link are discriminatory and unsafe

TWU to fight Perth Freight Link tolls for trucks only
The Perth Freight Link is planning to toll only heavy vehicles


The funding plans for the Perth Freight Link have come under fire from the Transport Workers Union.

Its WA secretary Tim Dawson says tolling only trucks on the multi-use highway will place further pressure on the transport sector when it is already reeling from some of the tightest margins seen in recent years.

"Transport operators are being squeezed enough by the multinationals; now we’ve got a state government that wants to squeeze them more," he tells ATN.

He says the situation would be particularly difficult for small transport operations, including owner drivers, who are unable to pass on rising costs on to their customer contracts.

That will add further pressure to cut costs by other means, and could impact on road safety.

While acknowledging the potential economic savings from having a more direct route between Perth’s industrial east and the Port of Fremantle, he says most operators are expecting an overall increase in costs.

"It will definitely make it more economical, but what the true savings will be is questionable."

He says that if tolling is necessary to build the project, charges should also be applied to private cars using the freight link.

"It’s not going to be secluded [with trucks only]. It’s a normal, mixed function highway – and charging only the trucks discriminates the industry."

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