Toll Increase Hits Brisbane’s Clem Jones Tunnel Despite Transurban’s Impressive Revenue Growth

Clem Jones Tunnel

Toll fees at the Clem Jones Tunnel (CLEM7) have increased starting this month, despite Transurban reporting record revenue last December, sparking criticism about the increase amidst the rising cost of living.

The CLEM7, a privately financed inner-city toll road in Greenslopes and Coorparoo, spans 4.8 kilometres beneath the Brisbane River, linking Woolloongabba and Bowen Hills. As one of Queensland’s largest infrastructure projects, it plays a vital role in the state’s transportation network. 

Recent discussions about the toll increase for the use of the CLEM7 have raised questions about the affordability and accessibility of this significant thoroughfare.

Effective 1 July 2023, motorists driving a car through the CLEM7 have been paying 42 cents more, as the toll rose from $5.70 to $6.12. Heavy commercial vehicles in Class 4 faced a higher increase, with peak hour rates up by $17.09 to $18.36 and off-peak rates up by $15.09 to $16.21.

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Transurban, the sole toll operator in South East Queensland, has justified the fee adjustment by citing the Brisbane Consumer Price Index (CPI). Although the increase may appear modest, it could have a cumulative impact on commuters who frequently use the CLEM7 to navigate Brisbane’s congested roads.

The toll hike comes on the heels of Transurban’s impressive 16 per cent revenue growth, as reported in their half-yearly financial report for December 2022, a detail that has critics up in arms.

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Outgoing CEO Scott Charlton expressed confidence in the strength of Transurban’s business model, citing built-in inflation protection due to approximately 68 per cent of toll revenue being linked to CPI escalations. However, critics argue that such increases may disproportionately burden commuters, especially amid rising living costs.

Transurban has assured motorists experiencing financial hardship that they can seek support from their Linkt Assist team, which offers payment plans, toll credits, and more flexible payment options.

Nevertheless, with the rising toll fees, drivers using the CLEM7 will need to carefully evaluate the impact on their budgets and explore alternative commuting options to mitigate the potential strain.

Published 5-July-2023