LABOR RAMPS UP CAMPAIGN AGAINST M4 TOLL WITH BILLBOARD HIGHLIGHTING PREMIER BEREJIKLIAN’S ANTI-WESTERN SYDNEY BIAS

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A giant billboard asking Gladys Berejiklian what she’s got against Western Sydney forms the centrepiece of a Labor campaign against a new unfair and unaffordable toll on the M4 motorway.

NSW Labor today kicks off its campaign in Western Sydney with the unveiling of the mobile billboard which will travel the length and breadth of affected suburbs and be parked at strategic locations to ram home the message - that the toll is unfair and unwelcome. 

With just 12 weeks to go before the tolls are set to return, Labor Leader Luke Foley, his Roads spokesperson Jodi McKay, and Labor Western Sydney MPs today stood by the billboard and pledged to fight the harsh new toll, which will cost regular five-day-a-week motorists more than $2,000 a year.

The billboard is emblazoned with the words: Western Sydney says no to the new M4 toll and is underscored with the question What does she have against Western Sydney?

Labor has already collected more than the 10,000 signatures for a petition required to force a debate on the issue in the NSW Parliament.

The new M4 toll on Western Sydney will be felt in family budgets as early as June as it equates to approximately $4.21 each way which amounts to $42.10 a week or $2,020 a year for a motorist travelling to and from work each day.[1]  Traffic data from 2012 [2]  estimates 165,900 trips are taken on the M4 each weekday.

Labor abolished the previous toll on the M4 in 2010. The new toll is a 53 per cent increase on the $2.75 toll Labor abolished.

The Berejiklian Liberal Government has signed an unpopular toll agreement which sees the toll on the M4 increase by four per cent every year – two-and-a-half times the current rate of inflation.

NSW Labor is also calling for the tolls to increase only at the rate of inflation to stop excessive charges by the time the contract is completed in 2060.

Quotes attributable to NSW Labor Leader Luke Foley

“This is nothing less than a tax on Western Sydney motorists that will see regular road users paying an additional $2,000 a year in tolls.

“This is life under the Liberals – it’s always the people who can least afford it who are hit the hardest.

“It’s a triple whammy for Western Sydney motorists – new tolls on un-tolled roads; toll increases well above the rate of inflation; and tolls right out until the 2060s. 

“This Premier’s record on Western Sydney is woeful. Her first act was to ditch the Western Sydney portfolio, her second to abandon a light rail through Sydney Olympic Park, and now she’s imposing a tax on Western Sydney motorists.

“Sydneysiders have already paid for this road - that’s why Labor lifted the tolls seven years ago.”

Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Roads Jodi McKay

“Now is the chance for Western Sydney motorists to have their say about the tolls they are being slugged with.

“The Government has an agenda to impose new and higher tolls on NSW roads and now they’ll have to justify how they determine the cost and duration of those tolls.

“Labor got rid of this toll on Western Sydney and the Liberals are bringing the M4 toll back - at a much higher cost.”