Labor party condemns plan to slug south west Sydney motorists with new M5 toll

NSW Labor politicians want the state government to explain why a toll is needed on the M5 East. Picture: Supplied

NSW Labor politicians want the state government to explain why a toll is needed on the M5 East. Picture: Supplied

The NSW Labor party is demanding to know why motorists who travel on a long-established toll-free Sydney motorway are about to be slapped with a new toll.

The M5 East was fully paid for when it opened in 2001 and has never been tolled.

However it is now expected to cost nearly $7 per trip for motorists, or more than $3000 per year for daily users - without a single upgrade having been made.

Opposition spokesman for western Sydney and Campbelltown MP Greg Warren said the usage charge slapped on the road would impose a burden on families and workers already struggling in the current economic climate.

"Only this privatisation-happy, money-hungry Liberal government would think it's appropriate to slap residents in south-west Sydney with an unnecessary toll on an ancient motorway," Mr Warren said.

"Time and time again we see the Berejiklian government coming into south-western Sydney to do nothing but gouge money out of the pockets of local families and businesses and give nothing in return."

Mr Warren said there was also no end date on the proposed toll.

"There is no timeline for how long the toll will be in place," he said.

"This is just an added expense on an already congested road.

"The fear here is also that people won't be able to afford the toll so they will avoid it and add more congestion on surrounding roads.

"There is also no promise of upgrades to the road - it's just another example of people in south-west Sydney paying for projects in other areas of the city."

The opposition spokesman for roads John Graham said drivers should not be made to pay for an old road.

"A motorist using the M5 East five days a week will have to pay $3,336 per year when previously they paid nothing," Mr Graham said.

"After 20 years they'll be almost $100,000 out of pocket as tolls escalate at 4 per cent - double the rate of inflation.

"The Government has not made any road upgrades and wants drivers to pay for the privilege of using it."

Macquarie Fields MP Anoulack Chanthivong labelled the new M5 East toll 'highway robbery'.

"Since it was built and opened by a Labor government in 2001, the M5 East has always been free - but now the Liberal [state] government wants to slug us with a hefty $6.95 each way," he said.

"Commuters have already been contacting my office voicing their disgust at this unfair new toll on an old road.

"The Liberal government's cash grab will hit household budgets hard at a time when they are already stretched to the maximum.

"Once again, this government has shown its utter contempt for the people of south west Sydney."

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