Michael Pascoe writes:

The media pack yesterday caught up with
Tuesday’s Crikey in taking the M5 tunnel pollution story to the Dilemma
government – and came away more confused than ever.

As The SMHsummarises, the Carr Crash mob is saying the noxious haze in the four-kilometre
tunnel isn’t harmful, but you should wind up your windows. No, it doesn’t make
sense, but that’s normal.

Under pressure over documents
that strongly recommended signage telling people to wind up their windows in
the tunnel, Minister for Roads Eric Roozendaal yesterday struggled to
explain an increasingly complicated message from the Government over the state
of the air quality in Sydney’s busiest tunnel.

The documents show that the
former health minister Morris Iemma, now the Premier, was advised that signs
should be put at the entrance to the tunnel, but this was never done.

Yesterday Mr Roozendaal
repeatedly said the M5 East was monitored at all times and that standards were
met. But he added: “If there is haze issue, a bit of common sense suggests
winding up your windows.”

Roozendaal is one of Labor’s gang of
professional politicians who only seem interested in saying whatever might keep
them in ministerial perks and allowances. The lack of filtration of the thick fog of exhaust in the tunnel has
been a running complaint for Labor, but it seems no marginal seats are
involved.

Roozendaal’s best effort yesterday was to
claim the carbon monoxide levels are closely monitored and remain within
international standards. That means the tunnel experience shouldn’t send you to
sleep at the wheel and kill you – but there’s not much comfort over the various
chemicals that are suspected of sparking asthma attacks, among other things.

So who do you trust, Roozendaal or the
Health Department’s secret warnings? No contest.

Peter Fray

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