NEWS THAT MATTERS

Professor Allan Fels

starts work on toll review

Professor Allan Fels was commissioned last week to lead an overhaul of the toll network as part of a major Minns Government election commitment to look at long term reform of the toll network. This could have far reaching financial ramifications for Central Coast motorists who drive to the Sydney area each day to work.

12 April 2023

 

NSW Premier Chris Minns, Treasurer Daniel Mookhey and Minister for Roads John Graham met with Professor Fels and were briefed by officials from NSW Treasury and Transport for NSW, who will continue to assist Professor Fels as he undertakes the extensive review into toll charges.

 

NSW Premier Chris Minns said, “I look forward to working with Professor Fels to lead a thorough review of Sydney’s toll network as we overhaul the complicated system and provide hip pocket relief for tens of thousands of motorists.

 

“Sydney has become criss-crossed by a complicated network of toll roads, and we need to find a simpler and more equitable system for the people of NSW.

 

“The NSW Labor Government is committed to toll relief for motorists and helping ease the cost of living, especially for motorists in Western Sydney who use these roads to get to work every day.”

 

NSW Treasurer Daniel Mookhey said, “People across NSW are struggling with the cost-of-living crisis, and the toll network is adding more hip pocket pain for motorists.”

 

“Professor Fels will be sitting down with Treasury and Transport for NSW to ensure we are looking for the best possible solutions for toll reform.

 

“In the meantime, the Government will be getting to work on our short-term toll relief measures to get financial relief for motorists."

 

This review will be critical to providing a simpler and fairer tolling system for motorists.

 

The NSW Government also reinforced its commitment to introducing a $60 per week toll cap and less administration fees for motorists of NSW with changes rolled out from the start of 2024."

 

Professor Fels’s will:

 

  • immediately take charge of the current Treasury and Transport review of tolls;

 

  • be responsible for negotiating with tolling operators to drive a good deal for motorists; and

 

  • be tasked with looking at long term reform options to overhaul the tolling system in NSW including but not limited to potential competition in toll contracts, moving freight on toll roads at night, the intersection of public transport and toll roads, long term concessions, what other jurisdictions are doing and compliance with toll contracts.

 

The Government has also committed to ensuring the review and recommendations are made public.

NSW Roads Minister John Graham said, “Briefing Professor Fels on the work ahead is an important step in helping us begin to unravel the complex web of toll roads and their myriad of tolling structures.

 

“We want to do this work once and do it right and that is why we have appointed Professor Fels.

 

“The former Government’s obsession with privatisation has led to this tolling mess. We are determined to look at ways to untangle this complex system.”

 

Professor Fels AO has a PHD in economics and was the inaugural Chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) from 1989 to 2003. He is regarded as one of the world’s leading experts in competition and regulation policy.

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