NSW toll rebate labelled band-aid solution

A transport expert says the NSW government's new toll relief package is a temporary fix and private contracts for major roadways in Sydney will eventually need to be torn up.

The government unveiled a new toll relief package on Tuesday, giving 500,000 drivers access to up to $750 in refunds on road tolls.

Martin Locke, from the University of Sydney's Institute of Transport and Logistics Studies, said it was "a band-aid solution".

"It's just a small amount of money designed to help impact affordability but at the end of the day, it's very, very modest,'' he told AAP.

"The real problem is the fact that with more roads opening now, with WestConnex and the Western Harbour Tunnel, people are going to be paying more tolls."

He agreed with opposition claims Sydney had become the most tolled city in the world.

Mr Locke said Sydney was unique in that successive governments had pursued road tolling to build major road infrastructure, producing projects that benefited the city.

But he said the system needed reform.

"Ultimately, we're going to have to tear up all of the existing toll road contracts," the academic said.

Mr Locke backed a user-pays model, where drivers pay per kilometre travelled on the network.

The government's rebate program, launched on Tuesday, is backdated to July 1 and entitles drivers who spend more than $375 a year on tolls to a 40 per cent discount.

"We know that this makes a real difference to people's lives," Premier Dominic Perrottet told reporters on Tuesday.

Individuals can claim once every quarter, up to $750 each financial year, and sole traders or business owners will be able to claim an additional $750, to a a total of $1500.

Labor leader Chris Minns said the government's policy was too little too late.

"We have the most tolled city on the face of the earth," Mr Minns told reporters on Tuesday.

"It's a secret tax on the families of Western Sydney in particular and every time that ding goes off in your car, that's a tax that Dominic Perrottet is levelling against the families of Western Sydney."

In 2021, the government announced it would review Sydney's tolling system, with the report due for completion in September last year.

The premier confirmed last week the review had been delayed and would not be delivered until after the state election on March 25.

Labor roads spokesman John Graham called on Mr Perrottet to release the report ahead of the election.