Mike Stevens | Jun 9, 2010

From July 19, New South Wales will begin rolling out its mobile speed camera program, replacing the state's outdated cameras with new digital systems capable not only of detecting speed, but also of reading number plates.

As part of the NSW Government's Budget announced this week, the mobile speed cameras are expected to contribute to an increase in fine revenue from $291 million in 2009 to $428 million by next year. Under the Budget forecast, last year's take will have almost doubled to $570 million by 2012.

On their own, the mobile speed cameras - which will be operated by a private company - are expected to increase the number of speeding tickets by 5 percent, adding about $137 million to fine revenue.

Speaking with News Ltd, Opposition roads spokesperson Andrew Stoner said that the expected increase in revenue was a clear revenue-raising tactic, using speed cameras to grow the state's budget rather than deter speeding motorists.

"This means the state's fiscal position now relies on more motorists speeding on our roads," Mr Stoner said. "Speed cameras should be there to deter motorists from driving dangerously, not to raise revenue."

The NSW Government also announced that it will inject a further $11 million into police salaries, amounting to a pay rise of nearly two percent - described by Opposition police spokesperson Mike Gallacher as "insignificant".

Most significantly, the NSW Government announced a $300 million increase in road development, increasing the state's spend on its roads to $4.7 billion.

Around $810 million has been earmarked for the Pacific Highway (up $147 million on last year) and $115 million for the Great Western Highway (up $47m).

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