THE air-filtration plant in the M5 East main tunnel will operate for a further three months while authorities implement a crackdown on big trucks belching exhaust fumes.
Roads Minister Duncan Gay said bigger fines and vehicle registration suspensions were part of a new enforcement program that would start tomorrow.
The state government announced late last year the $65 million filtration system would be shut down after an 18-month trial found it had only a minor effect on air quality.
Mr Gay said the new enforcement program would be implemented by Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) and the Environment Protection Authority to encourage operators to take greater responsibility for the condition of their vehicles.
Operators of smoky vehicles would face fines of $2000 for the first two offences, while a third offence would carry an additional penalty of an automatic three-month suspension of vehicle registration.
Mr Gay said the program would include warning letters, penalty notices, registration suspensions and invitations to operators to take advantage of a diesel retrofit and repair initiative.
“For those heavy vehicles that qualify, the government will pay 50 per cent of costs to assist with engine repairs and the fitting of a diesel retrofit device to the exhaust of the vehicle, up to a maximum of $10,000,” he said.
Mr Gay said the air-filtration plant would continue to operate for a further three months, by which time the effectiveness of the new measures could be determined.
He said the government would publish in-tunnel air-quality data on the RMS website and provide community educational material about air quality.
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Picture: Chris Lane
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.