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NatRoad welcomes NSW tolls probe news

NatRoad says the latest developments in the NSW toll inquiry are welcome, but more needs to be considered throughout the review process

The National Road Transport Association (NatRoad) has greeted the appointment of Professor Allan Fels to head an inquiry into New South Wales’ unfair road tolls regimen.

CEO Warren Clark says the burden of tolls on the heavy vehicles industry has long been a vexed issue for his members.

“The announcement by NSW Road Minister John Graham that all options are on the table is great news for our industry,” Clark says.

“Tolls are a cost over which road transport operators have no control and their burden has been increasing over the past five years.

“In 2021, we told a NSW parliamentary inquiry about a member whose annual toll bill was $100,000. That company was paying more in tolls for a round trip between the Western Suburbs and the Northern Beaches that in driver wages for the journey.”

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Clark says NatRoad looks forward to Professor Fels lifting the lid on secret contacts and price increase mechanisms.

He also says the incentives that get more trucks off suburban streets and onto tollways have to be considered too.

“We note that moving more road freight on toll roads at night is one thing that will be examined,” Clark says.

“Variable toll rates for off-peak journeys or discounts for multiple journeys are very practical ways of improving environmental, safety and congestion outcomes.”

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