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DIDGE - The View From Down Under

An Aussie’s ridgy-didge view of world affairs and popular culture.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Tollway Road Rage

There has been a lot of controversy over the Mitcham-Frankston Tollway, and I’m tired of hearing people complain! For a one-way journey along the full road, that’s 39 kilometres, the most it will cost you will be $4.84. Victorian Opposition Leader Robert Doyle has been particularly vocal about the tolls, but let’s not forget that the Liberals were responsible for the tollway of CityLink.

However one alarming issue is that statistics say the tollway will bring in $10 billion, while the road will cost just over $2.5 billion. I don’t know how they have worked out that $10 billion, but if that is true then it is worrying. The Government should keep tolls on the road until the $2.5 billion is paid for, and then make the road a freeway. And remember Premier Steve Bracks said there wouldn’t be any tolls on the road, but of course this has changed (though at least he did apologise, for whatever that is worth).

But back to my irritation. I’d like to point out that the people up in arms over the tolls are forgetting a few things:

One - You do not have to use the road if you do not wish to. You do not have to pay a toll if you do not want to. Just avoid the road and use your usual route.

Two – The road has to be paid somehow. Would you rather it come out of taxes, so people that don’t even use the road pay for it. Don’t you think it is much fairer for those who actually use it to pay for it?

Three – Keep in mind the people who use public transport every day. They pay a toll every time they ride on a train, tram or bus (well most people anyway). A normal train fair from Chelsea to Frankston costs around $4, and that’s not very far. $4.84 for 39 kilometres is a very good deal indeed.

Four – Think positively. Think about how much time and petrol you will save. Isn’t that worth a small fee?

Oh, and with all the fuss this is causing you’d have thought the tolls would start tomorrow, but rather the road opens November 2008.

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