Environmental experts have claimed that the bushfire smoke haze currently sitting over Melbourne is “almost as hazardous as the Main Street entrance to Greensy Plaza”. Local air quality consultant Professor Fraser Callinan has told The Watsonia Bugle that today’s conditions are about “one to two live packets of Winnie Blues away from rivalling the health risk of the prominent entrance to our region’s largest shopping complex”.

Such conditions pose a significant health risk to local residents, especially considering that the main street Plaza entrance last year ranked number four in all of Melbourne for the best places to enjoy a guilt-free passive smoke. That list, compiled by the Passive Smokers Union of Australia (PSUA), ranked the entrance behind only the outside of Marvel Stadium, the streets of Melbourne’s CBD during peak hour, and the fringe of the MCG concourse.

While Professor Callinan acknowledged the relative tone deafness of urbanites complaining about smoke haze while significant portions of our state burn and face more dangerous conditions, he did say that caution should be exercised this week. He said, “In all seriousness, at least you can walk away from the Main Street entrance to Greensy Plaza. Unfortunately, the current smoke haze is not as avoidable as that. People definitely need to be careful out there.”