Labor claims motorists using the M4 are set to pay nearly $3000 a year in tolls by the next election under a re-elected Coalition Government.
The Opposition says the State Government has locked in a four per cent per year increase in tolls until 2060.
This means that the toll will reach $5.77 each way by 2023. This could cost a regular M4 motorist $2768.35 a year.
The stretch of road affected is between Parramatta and Homebush and is about 7.5km long, charging commuters on a distance-based tolling system.
Currently, the maximum cost for cars is $4.93 and $14.79 for trucks. The M4 west of Parramatta remains toll-free.
Shadow Minister for Western Sydney and Londonderry MP, Prue Car has strongly opposed the toll since it was first re-introduced and said hard-pressed local families deserve better.
“Soaring power bills, tolls and other rising costs are tightening the family budget,” she said.
“That’s why a Labor Government in NSW will return $150 million in tolls to western Sydney motorists.”
Labor’s commitment of an M4 toll cashback will see the amount refunded to motorists, similar to that of the former cashback system that operated on the motorway.
The previous toll on the M4 was abolished by Labor in 2010 but returned in 2017 to help pay for a major upgrade of the motorway, which has seen the addition of new lanes in both directions.
Opposition Leader Michael Daley has described the M4 toll as an “unfair tax on western Sydney motorists” and said the road has already been paid off.
But Penrith MP and Minister for WestConnex Stuart Ayres has slammed Labor, labelling its policies “fraudulent” as they suggest the toll will be removed completely from the motorway.
“Labor dudded this community under Bob Carr on the M4 and they are doing it again,” he said.
“Their PBO costings prove they have no intention of removing the toll on all of the M4 even though they have signs all over Penrith saying they will.
“It also shows Labor will strip at least $250 million from schools and hospitals to pay toll roads operators rather than just removing the toll.
“It’s time to call out Labor’s fraudulent M4 policy.”
A graduate of Western Sydney University, Nicola Barton is a news journalist with the Western Weekender, primarily covering crime and politics.