New South Wales Opposition Leader Luke Foley has pledged to restore the M4 cashback scheme if Labor wins the state election next year.
Speaking at the last New South Wales Labor conference before voters head to the ballot box in March, Mr Foley announced a Labor government would reinstate the compensation scheme for commuters, reversing the Berejiklian Government’s toll on the motorway.
“You pay the toll, send us the bill and we will pay you back,” Mr Foley told party faithful on Saturday.
The pitch to Western Sydney voters would see private car users reimbursed for trips on the newly widened section of the motorway between Parramatta Road at Concord and Homebush.
The toll on the M4 was removed by Labor in 2010 but was brought back by the Berejiklian Government to cover the costs of the road’s refurbishment.
Speaking in front of federal Labor heavyweights such as Anthony Albanese and Doug Cameron, Mr Foley said the reintroduction of the toll was the “ultimate betrayal of Western Sydney”.
Doug Cameron (L) and Anthony Albanese (R) listening to Mr Foley’s speech. (ABC News: supplied)
“Labor will never accept it, we are on the side of Western Sydney’s motorists,” he said.
He said the cashback scheme would not impact the current discount on vehicle registration costs for motorists spending over $1,300 a year on tolls.
During his address Mr Foley also said he would establish a process to negotiate a treaty with Indigenous Australians, reaffirmed his commitment to build the metro west and “stop the privatisation scams”.
Meanwhile, more than 800 delegates attending the two-day conference at the Sydney Town Hall unanimously endorsed a motion to reverse funding cuts to the ABC.
The motion to reverse the Turnbull Government’s indexation freeze to the broadcaster — which will cost the ABC more than $80 million — was carried without opposition.
Opposition communications spokeswoman Michelle Rowland said public broadcasting was essential to democracy.
The party also backed a move that would see Labor MPs charged an additional levy to fund its commitment to donate $250,000 given to the party by convicted murderer Ron Medich to charity.