The speed camera on the Pacific Highway at St Helena Hill, Ewingsdale, is the third most lucrative site for government coffers in the entire state, raking in almost $1.5 million in fines just last year.
Statistics revealed by the Opposition show that in 2013, the coalition government collected more than $79.1 million in fines from speed and red light cameras in NSW, an all-time record in revenue for the government.
They’ve accused the government of using mobile speed cameras to collect revenue, with safety an ‘after-thought’.
Despite the Ewingsdale camera being in the thick of massive reconstruction of the highway for the most part of 2013, it ranked 17th and 18th on the Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) list.
But Labor MLC Walt Secord says the figure for the Ewingsdale camera has been split in both directions (‘southbound’ and ‘northbound’) to ‘reduce’ the amount for that camera alone.
The ‘southbound’ part of the camera collected $694,490 (2,994 fines issued) and ranked 17th, while the ‘northbound’ part collected $776,228 (2,977 fines) and ranked 18th.
‘But if you combine the total of the two cameras on the one, it is $1,470,718 for the entire year,’ Mr Secord told Echonetdaily.
He said both the figure and the fact the camera data had been split in two was ‘extraordinary’.
Mr Secord, Labor’s shadow minister for roads, said the income around the state from the cameras had increased sharply by more than 32 per cent over the previous year.
‘Data from the Office of State Revenue has revealed that from January 1 to December 31, 2013, the O’Farrell government collected $79,108,374 in fines from a total of 232,151 notices,’ Mr Secord said.
‘And each month, the amount collected was greater than the previous one, starting in January with $4.6 million and growing to $10.006 million by December.’
According to the data, revenue from speed and red-light cameras was: $79.1 million in 2013, $60.13 million in 2012, $42.84 million in 2011 and $5.84 million in 2010.
‘The NSW Opposition predicted that the amount collected would continue to grow because in December, the O’Farrell government introduced 45 new mobile speed camera units operating at 2,500 locations throughout the state,’ he said.
‘This increased the number of surveillance hours from 900 a month to 7,000.
‘While I recognise the need for red-light and speed cameras in fixed locations for safety reasons, especially in school zones, I do not support them for blatant revenue rising.
‘Unfortunately, the evidence is mounting: the O’Farrell government is using mobile speed cameras to collect revenue, and safety seems to be an after-thought.
‘In opposition, Barry O’Farrell promised to reduce the number of speed cameras, but in government, they are seen as cash cows,’ Mr Secord said.
The figures show the No. 1 revenue earner was the fixed camera on Sydney’s Eastern Distributor at Darlinghurst, which detected 10,047 motorists speeding, with a total revenue of $2,275,724.
The camera on Botany Road, Rosebery, came in officially second with 7,266 detections and $1,471,703 revenue.