Residents predictions of a white elephant correct: No light at end of M5 East tunnel

A white elephant ... a plant to filter air pollution in the M5 East tunnel will be closed. Photo: Ben Rushton

A $76 MILLION plant to filter air pollution in the notorious M5 East tunnel will be closed, after the state government said it was not worth the money.

At the time the plant was installed, nearby residents predicted it would be a white elephant and deliver little benefit for its $60 million in construction costs, $16 million in machinery costs, and running costs of $835,000 a year.

These predictions have been borne out, after the state government yesterday responded to an 18-month study of the plant.

The Roads Minister, Duncan Gay, said yesterday the study had found the plant, installed under the former Labor government in 2010, had made little impact.

The plant would be closed in three months, and the government would instead spend $8.5 million over three years on other air-quality programs, including retro-fitting old trucks with cleaner exhaust systems.

“The study indicated about 5 per cent of total haze pollution and 3 per cent of nitrogen dioxide in the tunnel was being removed via the filtration plant,” Mr Gay said.

Jacob Saulwick

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