CitLink toll increases to pay for the Andrew’s Labor Government’s West Gate Tunnel project come into effect today.
Gippsland CitiLink users are now being slugged with higher tolls each time they access the Melbourne CBD in order to pay for infrastructure in the city’s west.
The Nationals Member for Eastern Victorian Region said the CitiLink toll increase, which passed through the state upper house in March have unfairly and unjustly targeted Gippsland motorists.
“The Andrews Labor Government managed to secure the toll increase with the help of three additional votes from independent MP’s,” said Ms Bath.
Eastern Victoria Upper House Labor MP’s Harriet Shing and Jane Garret and Shooters and Fishers and Farmers MP, Jeff Bourman all voted to increase the CitiLink tolls, which directly affect Gippsland commuters.
Liberal Nationals Upper House MP’s Melina Bath and Edward O’Donohue strongly opposed and argued against the toll increase.
Ms Bath said Gippsland MP’s should be advocating for Eastern Victoria region and the decision to commit this financial burden upon Gippsland motorists directly disadvantages the very people they are elected to represent.
“Frustratingly Gippsland motorists are locked into paying the 4.25% increase in freeway tolls each year for the next 10 years to pay for this tunnel thanks to city centric Labor,” said Ms Bath.
“Tolls will now continue on the Monash Freeway right up until 2045 and a daily user of CitiLink will pay up to $87,060 in extra tolls during this time period.
“It is unconscionable that Labor and the Shooters, Farmers and Fishers feel it is ok to rip money out of the pockets of Gippslanders who rely on CitiLink to access the Melbourne CBD.
“After many years of users pays on the Monash Freeway it is wrong Gippslanders are further penalised to finance the construction of a tunnel to improve traffic in Melbourne’s western suburbs.
“I support user pays, but it is incredulous this infrastructure project has become the financial burden of Gippslanders motorists.
“The reality is Gippslanders will rarely use this tunnel, however Labor have made us all responsible for paying for it.