Roads The Nationals Gipspland South Tolls West gate Tunnel Transurban

Gippsland drivers pay for Labor’s Transurban deal

The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Danny O’Brien says it’s a slap in the face that Gippslanders are stuck with an unfinished Princes Highway duplication while Daniel Andrews shamelessly forces them to pay for his West Gate Tunnel deal.

Mr O’Brien said drivers going in to Melbourne via CityLink will 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 including Gippsland drivers who use the tollway when coming in to the city via the Monash Freeway.

“Our roads are left unfished and in appalling condition yet the arrogant Premier for Melbourne is making us help pay for city infrastructure that most Gippslanders won’t ever use,” Mr O’Brien said.

“It is gobsmacking that after cutting funding to fix country roads, Daniel Andrews is slugging country drivers to pay for his Melbourne tunnel deal.”

Labor axed the $160 million Country Roads and Bridges program last term and slashed VicRoads country maintenance budget on coming to government.

Last year and again this month Labor MPs refused to support a Nationals amendment to the Transport Legislation Amendment Bill that would have increased funding for country roads.

Mr O’Brien said the cost of doing business would also skyrocket as a result 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.

“With ongoing drought conditions and little-to-no financial support from the Andrews Labor Government, 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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