Perrottet denies Harbour Bridge toll plan

·2-min read

The NSW opposition has accused the state government of a secret plan to put a two-way toll on the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

The claim is based on a line buried within a Transport for NSW-authored response to community feedback on the proposed Beaches Link and Gore Hill Freeway Connection project, published this month.

The transport department said it had "assume(d) that tolls would apply to all north and southbound trips on all harbour crossings in the future, including two-way tolling on the Western Harbour Tunnel and Beaches Link tunnel" as it carried out traffic assessment and modelling for the environmental impact statement.

The document also notes that "no decision on the final tolling strategy for the project has been made" and that tolling assumptions "are based on the most relevant information available at the time of the assessment".

In question time on Thursday, Opposition Leader Chris Minns asked Premier Dominic Perrottet: "Will you finally admit what we all know, that you will be putting a two-way toll on all harbour crossings?"

Mr Perrottet answered: "No".

He said that the government had not yet made a decision on the tolling approach for the project. Motorists are now tolled only for southbound harbour crossings.

Mr Minns has consistently attacked Mr Perrottet for his government's approach to road tolls, and on Thursday said Sydney was "the most tolled city on the face of the Earth".

"In response to this toll mania, the NSW premier has decided to put a new toll on an old existing free road," Mr Minns said.

"Now these tolls go up four per cent each year, every year, almost double the rate of inflation. Families cannot afford it."

Mr Minns also took umbrage at a link in the Transport for NSW response to the project's environment impact statement that said "the use of a toll road can ... increase the cost of living and can exacerbate social inequality".

"This is the government's own report, belling the cat on how terrible and crippling toll roads can be for the people of NSW," he said.

Unlike other toll roads like the Cross City Tunnel or WestConnex, the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Tunnel are owned by Transport for NSW.

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