The Government of Victoria in Australia has unveiled plans to set up a state-owned entity that will collect tolls from motorists on the proposed North East Link road project.

The proposed link is the biggest road transport project in the state and is expected to carry up to 135,000 vehicles a day when complete.

A bill was introduced in the Victorian Parliament to create the new State Tolling Corporation. The entity will have tolling and enforcement powers, and will determine the toll price for travelling on the North East Link.

The toll revenue will be used for the maintenance and rehabilitation of tunnels, road surface and roadside areas.

Victoria Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan said: “Tolling major infrastructure ensures we can continue building road and rail projects like the North East Link that will get people where they need to go sooner and safer.

“We’re not wasting a minute getting on with the North East Link that will carry up to 135,000 vehicles daily, slash travel times and get trucks off local roads.”

The government also noted that the rehabilitated Eastern freeway and other key local roads such as Greensborough Highway and the M80 Ring Road will continue to remain toll-free.

The North East Link will connect the M80 road to an Eastern Freeway. It is expected to reduce travel times by 35 minutes.

Preliminary work is expected to begin soon, with major construction set to start next year.

Last month, Victoria announced its launch of a new test to assess a driver’s ability to respond to potential road hazards.