Secret Deals, Influenced Government, Over $1 Billion in Penalties, Neighbourhoods Destroyed, Environmental Impact, Tens of Thousands Affected and a Plan to Toll All Roads
Michael Fraser and Maddison Johnstone investigate our *favourite* rent seekers, Transurban, by calling for a Senate inquiry into Australias toll road giant. With tollways generating public debate, from East West Link, WestConnex and the unsolicited Western Distributor, we’ll be watching this development with great interest.
The Scandal: Transurban – A Case for a Senate Inquiry
Suicide is a word that appears all too often when speaking with toll road users.
Australian motorists have over $1 billion in outstanding toll penalties. Victorians alone owe $687 Million, which is 2.7 times that of road safety camera infringement (speed, red light and unregistered vehicles) offences combined.
When, in just over 12 months, our advocacy office received thousands of toll road complaints through our website and hundreds of calls, we knew there was a serious problem. Upset, angry and confused motorists from all walks of life were having problems with toll road operator Transurban.
After analysing the data, it was found that their complaints fit into a whopping 56 complaint categories, with the top three being: 1. Outrageous Fees & Fines, 2. Escalated to State Infringement, and 3. Faulty E-Tag.
In January 2016, our advocacy office also analysed complainant data from motorists using Transurban’s Queensland toll roads, which revealed that 24% claim they have penalty fees over $5,000, 14% claim they have penalty fees over $10,000, and 14% claim they have lost their licence as a result.
What is particularly concerning about these issues is that many of the fees and infringements came about due to system errors and lack of communication from Transurban, or innocent customer oversights that even the most diligent motorist can make. Read more.