Australian Greens transport spokesperson, Senator Janet Rice, has said that Transurban’s record profit released yesterday, with a $187 million surge in one year, shows that they have been given too good a deal by the federal and state governments, at the expense of the toll-paying public.
“Transurban’s bumper profit surge demonstrates they’ve essentially been given a license to print money by governments at the expense of regular Australians who are already struggling with cost of living pressures,” said Senator Janet Rice.
“We have governments who are favouring a private corporation, which profits from traffic, over the public interest. This is just causing more congestion in our cities while Transurban lines its own pockets.”
The Greens note that Transurban has a toll monopoly, running all but three of Australia’s toll roads.
“The kicker in all this is that Transurban paid no company tax in the 2016/17 financial year. The Australian public are being taken for a ride by Transurban, with governments acting as enablers.”
“When you have one company able to tighten its grip on private toll roads, fleecing Victorians $1.88 million per day to use Citylink, what chance does that give to road users, who have no other transport options?” said Senator Rice.
“We saw exactly what voters thought of Tony Abbott’s, and then Malcolm Turnbull’s, backing of East West Link in Victoria and Roe 8 in WA. These mega-roads were resoundingly rejected at the ballot box.”
“Instead of backing yet more toll roads, governments should prioritise fully integrated public transport networks that unclog our cities and connect our regions.”
“Imagine what the $11 billion plus planned to be spent on Melbourne’s North East Link, or $5 billion on the Westgate Tunnel or $16 billion on Westconnex in Sydney would deliver for public transport and freight rail, which would give people real choice whilst reducing congestion and pollution.”