Chris Minns calls for toll relief package extension

NSW Opposition Leader calls for toll relief package extension

NSW Labor Leader and Kogarah MP Chris Minns has called for an extension of the NSW Government's toll relief package beyond its June deadline.

It follows the NSW Government announcing toll relief for small business-owners as part of the COVID-19 economic recovery package on Tuesday.

Under the package, up to $2,000 can be claimed back for tolls paid during work-related travel until the end of June next year.

Minister for Finance and Small Business Damien Tudehope said on Tuesday: "It hasn't been an easy ride for businesses across the state and now we are reopening, this should give them some assurance that we will be there for them every step of the way."

"Small businesses will now be able to claim road user tolls under the Small Business Fees and Charges Rebate, which is being increased from $1500 to $2000," Mr Tudehope said.

"The rebate can be used to offset NSW and local government fees and charges and adding tolls to the list of claimable charges is going to make a massive difference to many small business owners who use vehicles for work."

In response, Mr Minns said he "can't understand why" the NSW Government would "provide a toll relief package that runs out in June and at the same time, sign a contract that lasts for four decades".

"40 years of tolls will be taken out of the back pockets of businesses and families and small and medium enterprises right across Sydney over the next four decades," Mr Minns said.

"$2.3 billion will be taken out over the next 12 months from businesses and families from tolls, that will go to private companies as a result of the incoming Premier's decision to privatise WestConnex."

He said Sydney was "the most tolled city on earth" and, with tolls increasing 4 per cent every year for 20 years, there was "not much there" for small business-owners under the current package.

NSW Labor Deputy Leader Prue Car agreed, saying "an eight month relief package is just not going to cut it."

She said Sydney's essential workers including those in healthcare, as well as truck drivers, retail workers and small businesses were the ones who would suffer paying more tolls long term.

She continued, "Dom Perrottet is the reason that they're going to be paying this toll on a road, some of which we've already paid for, for the next four decades."

This story NSW Opposition Leader calls for toll relief package extension first appeared on St George & Sutherland Shire Leader.