The Greens’ Amanda Bresnan has proposed her plans to deal with the scourge of woodsmoke over Canberra (RiotACT notes that recent smokey days were caused by fuel reduction in surrounding bushland).
Some of the suggestions are moderately sensible if you believe wood fires are a problem, as opposed to a cheap renewable heating solution. But check out the last one!
1. Expanded options for replacements: The buyback program should extend beyond gas replacements and allow people to replace woodsmoke heaters with other highly efficient heating options (solar heating for example). Not everyone even has gas available to them.
2. A new emissions standard for new heaters: The ACT Government should introduce a new emissions standard for woodsmoke heaters in the ACT, acknowledging that the Federal Government has failed to act on this issue.
3. Proper air quality monitoring: Mobile air quality readings should be taken. Taking a general reading from one location does not reflect what is really happening with woodsmoke pollution in Canberra.
4. Targeted education programs: Many people use their woodsmoke heaters incorrectly, and you can see all the smoke that comes from their chimney as a result. The Government could engage an officer to identify those houses and directly educate them about how to correctly burn the wood, or how to replace their wood heater. The officer could issue infringement notices to repeat offenders. This was done in Launceston and was highly successful.
Personally I wouldn’t want to be relying on a solar heating system.