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The NSW government is calling for radical reforms to transport pricing after the Morrison government on Wednesday rejected widespread calls to use road user charges to reduce urban traffic congestion.
Federal Urban Infrastructure Minister Alan Tudge, who has been labelled the "Minister for Congestion Busting" by Prime Minister Scott Morrison, said the Coalition was keen to bring forward smaller infrastructure projects, from commuter car parks, bridges and traffic lights, to help kick-start the economy.
Although some of the multibillion-dollar commitments made in the $100 billion promise in the April budget would take years to be "shovel ready", Mr Tudge said he was working with state and territory governments to fast-track smaller projects.
But the minister ruled out road user charging to deal with worsening traffic congestion in the big capital cities, despite Infrastructure Australia calling for its introduction last year as part of a broader reform agenda.
"It's not on my agenda," Mr Tudge told The Australian Financial Review National Infrastructure Summit in Melbourne.
"In some respects people are already paying the cost of going on the road because of the congestion they are facing. They are already struggling to come in from the outer suburbs into work in the city and I don't think they should pay more.
This article first appeared on www.afr.com
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