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Thursday, 27 May 2004
Page: 29467

Mr Martin Ferguson asked the Minister for Transport and Regional Services, upon notice, on 4 March 2004:

(1) Further to the answer to question No. 2727 concerning the Western Sydney Orbital, of the outstanding contribution by the Commonwealth to the Western Sydney Orbital, what payments will be made in (a) 2003-2004, (b) 2004-2005, and (c) 2005-2006.

(2) Is it intended that any further payments be made in the financial years beyond 2005-2006.

(3) In respect of the New South Wales Government's obligation to consult with the Commonwealth on the level of tolling, will the Commonwealth support a tolling system providing for the same toll for non-commercial vehicles, buses, motorbikes, trucks, cars and trailers.

Mr Anderson (Minister for Transport and Regional Services) —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) (a) The estimate for payments in respect for the Western Sydney Orbital Project in the 2003/04 financial year is $88.2m. This estimate exceeded the 2003/04 budget allocation as the NSW Roads and Traffic Authority has been able to proceed with land acquisitions at a faster rate than originally estimated.

(b) $73.0m is the current estimate for payments in 2005/06

(c) $19.98m is the current estimate for payments in 2006/07

(2) No.

(3) Under the Memorandum of Understanding between the Commonwealth and New South Wales concerning the Western Sydney Orbital, the level of tolling and the toll for the various categories of vehicles are ultimately the responsibility of the New South Wales Government.

A maximum toll level of $5 would, however, be consistent with the joint announcement I made with the New South Wales Minister for Roads, Carl Scully, on 4 January 2001, that it was proposed to cap the toll at an expected $4 to $5 (in year 2000 dollars with consumer price index adjustments).