Media Reports Take Toll On Transurban
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Media reports claiming how toll road operator Transurban has been hitting motorists with high fees have forced the giant to reveal plans to revamp its tolling system and other services from next week.
Stories in the Fairfax Media press in Melbourne on Tuesday, and political intervention by the state government, saw Transurban release a statement yesterday denying that it is making millions of dollars in profits from slugging motorists with high fees.
"There are a number of upcoming changes which we have been developing, including new apps and business solutions and upgrading our electronic tolling systems, which enable fee changes," Transurban group executive for Victoria and strategy, Wes Ballantine said in a statement.
Fairfax said leaked documents revealed Transurban, which operates toll roads in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane earned the company in $147 million in 2016 by charging customers fees for pursuing unpaid tolls, image matching and replacing eTags.
The Victorian government said it is trying to make the toll system fairer for motorists under a new agreement for its controversial West Gate Tunnel project.
"As part of the West Gate Tunnel Project, we've negotiated a fairer deal for drivers that use CityLink, including a massive overhaul of toll enforcement and infringements," a government spokesman said in a statement on Tuesday.
“Unfortunately, the Liberals and the Greens have previously indicated that they intend to oppose these measures,” Fairfax reported yesterday.
Investors took note of the story and the company’s statement and marked the securities down 1.3% to $11.86 yesterday.
Glenn Dyer has been a finance journalist and TV producer for more than 40 years. He has worked at Maxwell Newton Publications, Queensland Newspapers, AAP, The Australian Financial Review, The Nine Network and Crikey.
At the AFR he was a finance writer, Finance Editor, News Editor and Chief of Staff. At the Nine Network he was supervising producer of Business Sunday for more than 16 years. He has also written for other online and analogue print publications here and overseas.