Greens call for heater police

johnboy 26 May 2011 21

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.


What's Your Opinion?


Please login to post your comments, or connect with
21 Responses to Greens call for heater police
Filter
Order
UnknownUser72 UnknownUser72 9:33 pm 21 Jun 11

Now if only The Greens can take action to ban those pesky inversion layers that occur in the Valley in winter… Not only will woodsmoke heaters no longer be a problem, but neither will the emissions from cars…

averagejoeaussie averagejoeaussie 9:35 pm 01 Jun 11

Here we go again! Keep the minions in line with the “big stick” by fining them if there is too much smoke from their chimneys! Wake up, Amanda! With the impending “carbon tax” on electricity how many people do you think will opt for “solid fuel” heating? Now you want to hit them for improperly burning their wood? You do-gooders make me sick – how about you take all this extra tax income, listen to some realsitic solutions and put the dollars there. And by the way, when these “solutions” of yours make absolutely no difference, are you willing to stand up and say “I said it would?”

GardeningGirl GardeningGirl 2:09 pm 27 May 11

Even in our current comparatively smoke-free suburb I have noticed two things.
The smoke is worse after rain, ie when the wood is wet. Why isn’t it compulsory when installing a wood heater to also build adequate dry wood storage?
The chimney of the nearby house that was sold produces more smoke now than when the original owners lived there. When will the “education” they have been talking about for decades do some good?

Nightshade said :

Those of you who are incredulous every time this topic comes up must never have lived next door to someone who lets their heater smoke excessively. There may not be many people who do this, but being the unlucky neighbour is no fun and it’s not just a Tuggeranong problem.

Try:
– having a cloud of smoke wafting through your yard all weekend for 5 months of the year
– never being able to hang your washing outside unless you want it smelling worse than before you washed it (and having your living room permanently filled with wet clothes on airers as a result)
– having smoke blow inside your house through the ventilation holes

Been there, done that, moved house. Interestingly husband was not bothered by it much while we lived there but became very sensitive when we went back to the suburb to visit. I wonder if that’s why some people don’t have more compassion for the genuine physical discomfort others suffer. Does a proportion of the population develop a tolerance for it to the point where they are unaware of it unless taken out of the environment for some time? Yes, I know everyone gets a break in the warmer months. I don’t have a scientifically valid argument, just a vivid memory of husband saying “THIS is how you felt every winter? NOW I understand!”

housebound housebound 1:30 pm 27 May 11

Green wood doesn’t give out a lot of heat, either. You’re really just setting fire to something to see the flame. It isn’t an option for an entire 5-month constant source of warmth.

At any rate, you need more than garden prunings to keep going to 5 whole months.

Conceded: deliberately using green wood for 5 months probably isn’t due to talent as much as laziness or stupidity.

Jivrashia Jivrashia 1:15 pm 27 May 11

housebound said :

It takes a bit of talent to make a heater smoke as badly as that for five months straight.

No it isn’t. Freshly cut wood would do that.

Some people don’t realise that if you want to use your own vegetation waste then you need to leave it out to dry for at least a year, preferably longer. Otherwise they have a hard time catching light, and even if they do they produce smoke that stinks the whole neighbourhood due to the sap in them (which is why you need to dry them out in the first place).

The solution is to go to a proper supplier who will have dried woods that will burn efficiently, and mostly smoke-free. Otherwise, prepare to wait a year for the woods to be ready.

housebound housebound 7:02 am 27 May 11

It takes a bit of talent to make a heater smoke as badly as that for five months straight. I don’t think we could manage it if we tried. It’s also a waste of wood and potential heat and, if you buy your wood, a waste of money. What did you do to your neighbour to warrant this vindictive treatment?

Your neighbour probably is also the type to drive commodores, push in in checkout queues, park in disabled zones, and speed through school zones.

wildturkeycanoe wildturkeycanoe 6:27 am 27 May 11

Nightshade said :

Those of you who are incredulous every time this topic comes up must never have lived next door to someone who lets their heater smoke excessively. There may not be many people who do this, but being the unlucky neighbour is no fun and it’s not just a Tuggeranong problem.

Try:
– having a cloud of smoke wafting through your yard all weekend for 5 months of the year
– never being able to hang your washing outside unless you want it smelling worse than before you washed it (and having your living room permanently filled with wet clothes on airers as a result)
– having smoke blow inside your house through the ventilation holes (I’ve been able to tell when my neighbour refuelled their heater while standing in my kitchen at the far end of the house because smoke came down the range hood flue)
– not being able to spend time outside enjoying your garden for that 5 months a year
– not being able to do any gardening either (and then having to deal later with the jungle of weeds that grew, set seed and grew again in early Spring while you weren’t able to go outside and deal with them promptly)

I’m always surprised to see the sympathy most of you extend to people whose neighbours have front yards full of rusty cars or long grass, who make excessive noise, who build sun rooms that overlook their backyard or various other unneighbourly things … yet it seems so difficult to understand what a problem smoke can cause.

Poor baby –
For the 5 months of summer we had dust blowing through our backyard due to the suburb being a construction zone for new housing.
Laundry won’t dry for half of the winter months anyway, as it’s either raining or just too darn cold – get a clothes dryer.
If the smoke is coming into your house through vents and the rangehood, the green police should be knocking on your door as all that cold air would be giving your home a -3 star energy efficiency. Waste of natural resources.
If you can’t go into the backyard because of the smoke, how do you get to the shops? I dare say that the wind doesn’t ALWAYS blow into your yard and there are opportunities to get these things done. Wood fires have been around since man discovered flint, there will never be a better way to get warm. If the government made it easier and cheaper to get better burning firewood, instead of the semi-damp garbage people have to scrape for wherever they can find it, smoke will be a lesser issue. The problem is being made worse by the green’s campaigns, not better.

Nightshade Nightshade 10:35 pm 26 May 11

Those of you who are incredulous every time this topic comes up must never have lived next door to someone who lets their heater smoke excessively. There may not be many people who do this, but being the unlucky neighbour is no fun and it’s not just a Tuggeranong problem.

Try:
– having a cloud of smoke wafting through your yard all weekend for 5 months of the year
– never being able to hang your washing outside unless you want it smelling worse than before you washed it (and having your living room permanently filled with wet clothes on airers as a result)
– having smoke blow inside your house through the ventilation holes (I’ve been able to tell when my neighbour refuelled their heater while standing in my kitchen at the far end of the house because smoke came down the range hood flue)
– not being able to spend time outside enjoying your garden for that 5 months a year
– not being able to do any gardening either (and then having to deal later with the jungle of weeds that grew, set seed and grew again in early Spring while you weren’t able to go outside and deal with them promptly)

I’m always surprised to see the sympathy most of you extend to people whose neighbours have front yards full of rusty cars or long grass, who make excessive noise, who build sun rooms that overlook their backyard or various other unneighbourly things … yet it seems so difficult to understand what a problem smoke can cause.

zippyzippy zippyzippy 6:17 pm 26 May 11

Chop71 said :

infringement notices – for keeping my family warm on a -7 winter morning.

What are you talking about? Why would you get an infringement notice?

Keijidosha Keijidosha 5:00 pm 26 May 11

Erg0 said :

I like that she’s gone to the trouble of inventing the pejorative term “woodsmoke heater”, just to really drive home the point that they’re bad and stuff.

I suspect she was exercising restraint from going with “tree burning, toxic carbon polluting, baby killing warmth generator”

damien haas damien haas 4:49 pm 26 May 11

Erg0 said :

I like that she’s gone to the trouble of inventing the pejorative term “woodsmoke heater”, just to really drive home the point that they’re bad and stuff.

Possibly a find/replace error for some other word that wood may have began as and then changed later by an editor.

damien haas damien haas 4:47 pm 26 May 11

I think the woodsmoke problems are largely confined to the Tuggeranong Valley, and would be dismayed if a whole of Canberra solution was applied to remediate a local problem.

housebound housebound 4:25 pm 26 May 11

Greens pushing and calling …

Maybe the Greens should just ban Winter, then we won’t need to light our wood heaters. (Nice try Amanda – but our heater does NOT run on woodsmoke.)

Reminds me of that joke: Definition of a Greenie is someone who already has a bushblock.

ScienceRules ScienceRules 4:20 pm 26 May 11

Holy crap, does ANYONE use wood heaters anymore? As an (Upper) Tuggeranong denizen I can’t recall any time recently when this was an issue. Maybe Bresnan is just blowing smoke?

Jivrashia Jivrashia 4:02 pm 26 May 11

I believe the crux of the problem is this:
As Winter arrives and woodsmoke pollution accumulates in the Tuggeranong Valley

…Would you people please stop sniggering?

chewy14 chewy14 3:53 pm 26 May 11

Solar air heating backed up by gas can be viable for home heating. Using PCM’s can help store heat when the sun isn’t out.
Pretty much the same as a solar hot water heater heating air instead.

No.4 definitely sounds like Green policy. Re-Education programs for everyone.
I’m thinking rooms full of people hooked up Clockwork Orange style until they learn the “correct” way of thinking.

Erg0 Erg0 3:52 pm 26 May 11

I like that she’s gone to the trouble of inventing the pejorative term “woodsmoke heater”, just to really drive home the point that they’re bad and stuff.

Chop71 Chop71 3:44 pm 26 May 11

….. this could almost get me to move to Hall, Murrumbateman or even Quangers where amazingly smoke isn’t a problem 😉

Chop71 Chop71 3:35 pm 26 May 11

infringement notices – for keeping my family warm on a -7 winter morning.
Talk about a nanny state

Solidarity Solidarity 3:29 pm 26 May 11

Can someone please explain to me how a “solar heater” is better for the environment than a fireplace?

I’m guessing manufacturing one of these things has a bit more impact than firing up a kiln and cutting down some deadwood.

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Top

Search across the site