I speak in support of all the signatories to the petition against the M4 toll.
This petition has received more than 13,000 signatures from across the Blue Mountains and Western Sydney region. The reason is obvious. This new toll, brought back from the dead by the zombies opposite, will hit low- and middle-income families hard.
It will hit workers hard when they have to find more than $2,000 per annum for their transport costs.
It will hit families and pensioners hard when they are suddenly asked to find an extra $8 to head into Sydney to visit their friends or family.
It will hit small businesses and tradies hard when they suddenly have to find multiples of the $4.50 it costs to travel each way on the M4.
But it will hit this Government hard too, make no mistake.
Every time an e-tag goes beep, it will hit this Government. It will hit the member for Penrith too.
Members might sometimes forget that the member for Penrith not only shares an electorate boundary with the Blue Mountains but his electorate includes a couple of Blue Mountains villages, Lapstone and Glenbrook.
He is not known in the Blue Mountains as the member for Penrith or the Minister for WestConnex. In the Blue Mountains we know what his real job title is: the Minister for Toll Roads.
These tolls will be an albatross around the neck of the member for Penrith.
Every time an e-tag goes beep and he sticks his hands in the pockets of the very people he was elected to represent in this place, his constituents will remember the betrayal and the bastardry of this Government.
The beep of their e-tags will be ringing in their ears when they line up at the polling booths in Penrith and the Blue Mountains.
This Government will rue the day it broke Barry O'Farrell's promise to keep the M4 toll free.
The new toll on the M4 is an attack on the Blue Mountains and Western Sydney when we can least afford it. The Government is running our public transport services into the ground while levying a new tax on an old road which will grow by 4 per cent per annum, whether inflation matches that or not.
The justification the Government provides for this disgraceful new tax is that it is to pay for the newly widened section. That is rubbish.
The cost of the widening is $500 million. At $4.50 each way, the tolls will raise $200 million every year—but the tolls will not get canned after 2½ years.
The tolls will be in place for another 43 years.
It is a complete disgrace, and the member for Penrith is finished; he is through.
He will be held to account by his electorate for this betrayal, and he will be thrown out of office in 2019.