NSW Govt says 'no' to tolls on Pacific Hwy to fund upgrade

RENEWED calls for a toll to help fund Pacific Hwy upgrades have been rejected by the NSW Government.

In its report to COAG this week, Infrastructure NSW recommended completion of the Pacific Hwy upgrade be included on the Infrastructure Priority List as Ready to Proceed on the condition a corridor wide toll was applied to help fund the cost of the upgrades and ongoing operating and maintenance costs.

Motorists were quick to criticise the suggestion and on Wednesday a Transport and Main Roads spokesman ended speculation a toll was being considered by simply saying "the NSW Government has consistently said it would not impose tolls on the Pacific Hwy".

National's candidate for Page Kevin Hogan slammed the proposal on the grounds the money was available, but the Federal Government was refusing to spend it.

He said the Coalition had "a real and iron-clad commitment" to fix the Pacific Hwy with the 80:20 Federal to State funding model, by diverting the extra $2.1 billion that was earmarked for the now scrapped Parramatta-Epping rail link.

"Labor has absolutely no plan to finish the road, and they refuse to commit the 80:20 funding split.

"No more excuses. This road needs to be built, and not with a toll."

The Federal Government has refused to be drawn back into the Pacific Hwy funding spat but maintains $3.5 billion in quarantined funding if the state agreed to a 50:50 split

In a story on the IA toll proposal published in APN's print editions yesterday, the 80:20 funding was included as an Infrastructure Australia condition.

It was in fact, a proposal in the NSW Government's submission to the infrastructure body for the highway.

The Commonwealth remains in support of a 50:50 split, while the state government remains supportive of an 80:20 ratio.

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