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Liberals bring the love for woodheaters in Molonglo

By johnboy 30 September 2012 38

Let’s face it, at the price of land in the Molonglo development people there are going to be using wood fires for ornamental purposes rather than cheaping out on heating.

But it’s probably symbolic Zed Seselja is promising to overturn the Government’s ban on the things in the new development:

ACT Opposition Leader Zed Seselja announced today that if elected, a Canberra Liberals Government will overturn the ACT Labor/Greens Coalition’s wood heater ban in the Molonglo Valley. “First the ACT Labor/Greens Coalition banned fireworks, then shopping trolleys, then plastic bags, and now they’re banning wood heaters,” Mr Seselja said.

“It comes at a time when people have just been slugged with another 17 per cent electricity cost rise, and are buying wood heaters to keep costs down.

“Like many Canberrans, we’re sick of this nanny state approach and believe government should support people, not try to control their lives.

“A Canberra Liberals Government would repeal the ban on wood heaters in the Molonglo Valley, and resist further moves by the Greens to ban them in other areas.

“Wood Heaters are a cost effective option to heating a home, and are carbon neutral. With newer technology, they’re also more efficient and cleaner.

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38 Responses to
Liberals bring the love for woodheaters in Molonglo
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Leo61 8:25 pm 15 Oct 12

Mr Gillespie said :

gooterz said :

Thought the idea of no fires was the same as no lights up into the sky at night.

To protect Mt Stromlo from a cloudly haze

They should never have approved the development at the foot of Mt Stromlo in the first place!!! God, talk about making the light pollution problem WORSE!!!

We have had enough developments, CANBERRA IS FULL.

Light pollution for the observatory became an issue when Woden was built let alone Weston Creek. I’m building in Wright and do so accepting all of the building and planning regulations. If you want a wood burning fire place go a live in a suburb where it is legal.

CaresAboutHealth 10:00 am 07 Oct 12

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd said :

Gardening girl, all wood heaters can burn clean. It’s the people who don’t burn the right wood or try to burn wet wood to start. If you put wet hardwood on a hot fire = no difference but if you try to start a fire with wet wood that’s when it’s bad.
Clean flu, only burn seasoned hardwood or pine, make sure the fire is hot and fully burning before turning the air vent down and it’s clean and efficient.
Maybe people should be made to do a course before being aloud to have a fire installed?

Education programs cost a fortune, but still don’t work. You, for example, seem not to know that Australian wood heaters are designed for hardwood. CSIRO’s tests showed much higher emissions (way above the desired standard, as well as more global warming from methane emissions than most other forms of heating) when pine was burned in an Australian heater.

Launceston spent over $2 million on education and subsidizing the installation on replacement heaters. The replacement program worked a treat – the 75% reduction in heaters reduced pollution by 75%.

But even after years of education, the average new “certified low emission heater” was found to emit as much pollution per year as many hundreds of diesel cars satisfying new health-based standards ( http://www.news.com.au/national-old/car-pollution-crackdown-to-save-lives/story-e6frfkvr-1226073347555 ). The volunteers obviously wanted to do the right thing – even got up in the middle of the night to add more wood instead of leaving the fire to smoulder overnight, but many so-called low emission heaters were still unacceptably polluting.

Similar new “low emission” heaters in Canberra would emit more pollution per year than 370 new diesel sports utility vehicles (SUV). It would be insane to allow such dirty health-hazardous polluting heaters in new surburbs. Far better to review the situation when the wood heating industry gets their act together and develops cleaner models to satisfy a health-based standard, as is the case for diesel vehicles.

Incidentally, Zed doesn’t seem to understand the difference between a nanny state regulations to protect people from themselves, and regulations to protect other people. Stopping people from driving blind drunk or travelling at 100 km/hr in front of a school crossing are *not* nanny state regulations – they protect other people. The same applies to not allowing the installation of heaters that emit as much pollution per year as 370 new diesel SUV.

Seatbelt laws on the other hand could be considered ‘nanny state’ laws. If Zed is concerned about the nanny state he should repeal seatbelt laws. Most people (me included) would wear one anyway, so it won’t make much difference to health costs. But with a recent study in putting the health costs at more than $22,000 per wood heater in NSW, not allowing new ones to be installed in Molonglo, until we have a decent health-based standard for emissions, is good, sensible policy – woodsmoke.3sc.net/canberra

m@ 12:19 pm 02 Oct 12

So does Zed also have a plan to avoid further breaches of air quality standards due to wood heaters (which precipitated the ban in the first place)?

GardeningGirl 11:55 am 02 Oct 12

JC said :

HenryBG said :

JC said :

Then there is the practicalities of it too, I remember before I moved to Dunlop I couldn’t hang clothes out on a winters day because they would stink when they were brought back in ….

That doesn’t follow at all.

There was obviously nothing preventing you from hanging your clothes outside, just as there was nothing preventing you from thanking your neighbour for providing a faint but pleasant aroma of woodsmoke to bring back inside with you, on those rare days when the laws of physics take a holiday and hot air sinks instead of rising.

Of course, the real problem could be that you have some kind of psychological condition causing you to have a neurotic phobia of woodsmoke – not really your neighbour’s responsibility though, is it?

Actually I don’t mind the smell of wood smoke, just not on my bloody cleanly washed clothes. As for the smoke at the neighbours it always found it’s way to the clothes, and this was on a good old true 1/4 acre block with the clothes line in the furtherest corner away from the neighbour with wood heater.

I’ve smelled the “pleasant aroma of woodsmoke” twice. One was the old neighbour I talked about in my earlier post. One was somewhere in another suburb once while driving through it and it was so noticeable I commented to Mr Gardening on it. Most wood heater users do not manage to do that. Even if they did it probably isn’t too healthy to have many together in close proximity like they would be in Molonglo, and I don’t want it on my washing either.

Jon 10:14 am 02 Oct 12

The one thing that people seem to be missing in this debate (IMO) is that there are almost no houses IN Molonglo at the moment and those that are don’t have wood heaters in them anyway.

Basically, it seems to me, that if you want a house in Molonglo, you accept as part of deciding to live there that your house will be heated with a non-wood source. If you don’t agree to it, purchase your house somewhere else.

It’s basically the same as buying an apartment unit and then expecting that you should be automatically allowed to ignore the covenants that were detailed in the contract you signed.

Or buying a house in Jerrabomberra or Crace and expecting you can paint it bright pink 🙂

As far as I can see, this policy is NOT about banning wood heaters in Canberra – it’s about not allowing wood heaters in ONE part of Canberra and covers at most 5 suburbs (of over 100). And it’s doing so in a way that you know well ahead of time what you’re signing up for.

Mysteryman 10:11 am 02 Oct 12

Good. I think it’s a stupid bad in the first place. I’d like to see the next government repeal a few of the other decisions made by the Labor/Greens.

Madam Cholet 9:47 am 02 Oct 12

I personally would not run out and spend thousands on a wood heater, installation and approval on the basis of a couple of $500 bills each year. If you are racking up huge bills, you are probably overheating your house.

Instead of seeking to use petty policy to repeal Labor decisions, the next Government in the ACT should be encouraging use of alternate methods of powering our homes and more innovative ways to heat and cool. As I have said before on this site, we have a system in our roof which uses the hot and cool air in the roof cavity to heat and cool the house. It runs on the smell of an oily rag and means that we do not have to put our heater or air con on as much. Can’t get much simpler than that and is working a treat.

I reckon I am your average voter. And I get very turned off when pollies treat us like idiots and use second guessing as opposed to their own brains to formulate policy.

In the run up to this election I have been approached by one poliie from Labor. Granted he happened to be walking down my street as I was perusing my gardening efforts, but we had a nice chat about walk in centres and I gave him my opinion. Not one Liberal has approached me in the shopping centre when they have been there. Not one Liberal or Green or anyone else has left me more than a postcard. I have no idea what they stand for, apart from repealing things that I think are on the whole worth while.

JC 7:02 am 02 Oct 12

Chello said :

Electricity and gas prices going up what do you expect. People will use their fire places and there is no reason to change the way in which they heat their home.

Umm except in the area’s where the ban is proposed they won’t have them in the first place. The ban isn’t planned territory wide!

JC 7:01 am 02 Oct 12

HenryBG said :

JC said :

Then there is the practicalities of it too, I remember before I moved to Dunlop I couldn’t hang clothes out on a winters day because they would stink when they were brought back in ….

That doesn’t follow at all.

There was obviously nothing preventing you from hanging your clothes outside, just as there was nothing preventing you from thanking your neighbour for providing a faint but pleasant aroma of woodsmoke to bring back inside with you, on those rare days when the laws of physics take a holiday and hot air sinks instead of rising.

Of course, the real problem could be that you have some kind of psychological condition causing you to have a neurotic phobia of woodsmoke – not really your neighbour’s responsibility though, is it?

Actually I don’t mind the smell of wood smoke, just not on my bloody cleanly washed clothes. As for the smoke at the neighbours it always found it’s way to the clothes, and this was on a good old true 1/4 acre block with the clothes line in the furtherest corner away from the neighbour with wood heater.

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd 6:44 am 02 Oct 12

Couldn’t people just put in a fireplace but not get it approved?

Darkfalz 4:31 am 02 Oct 12

I enjoyed the novelty of a fireplace on a recent romantic getaway but can’t say I’d like it as my permanent way of heating a house. My reverse cycle does well, and running one of those power-chewing space heaters if I only need to warm up one room for a bit is okay too.

They say gas heating is cheap(er) but I remember an enormous bill from living in a gas heated house for one winter.

Banning them though, what next? I’m with Zed on this.

gooterz 12:07 am 02 Oct 12

Chello said :

Electricity and gas prices going up what do you expect. People will use their fire places and there is no reason to change the way in which they heat their home.

Except that there aren’t any fireplaces in Molonglo, they’d have to build them after the fact.

Chello 11:51 pm 01 Oct 12

Electricity and gas prices going up what do you expect. People will use their fire places and there is no reason to change the way in which they heat their home.

HenryBG 8:12 pm 01 Oct 12

JC said :

Then there is the practicalities of it too, I remember before I moved to Dunlop I couldn’t hang clothes out on a winters day because they would stink when they were brought back in ….

That doesn’t follow at all.

There was obviously nothing preventing you from hanging your clothes outside, just as there was nothing preventing you from thanking your neighbour for providing a faint but pleasant aroma of woodsmoke to bring back inside with you, on those rare days when the laws of physics take a holiday and hot air sinks instead of rising.

Of course, the real problem could be that you have some kind of psychological condition causing you to have a neurotic phobia of woodsmoke – not really your neighbour’s responsibility though, is it?

The cat did it 7:17 pm 01 Oct 12

I don’t think you’ve spotted Zed’s long-term vision. Bringing back wood burning will actually generate lots of chimney/flue cleaning jobs for the potential young workers he will create when he removes those nanny-state child labour laws.

JC 5:36 pm 01 Oct 12

Hey Zed, do you not remember that it was the Canberra Liberals under Trevor Kaine that first introduced the wood heater ban in Dunlop! So was that a nanny state decision?

BTW it is hardly a nanny state decision. Next you will be telling us that (cigarette) smoking should be once again allowed anywhere and everywhere, after all what is the difference. Both cigarette and wood heat can cause discomfort and ill health to those breathing the fumes.

Then there is the practicalities of it too, I remember before I moved to Dunlop I couldn’t hang clothes out on a winters day because they would stink when they were brought back in all because the neighbour had wood heating. There was no escape from it!

annus_horribilis 10:31 am 01 Oct 12

Mr Gillespie said :

gooterz said :

Thought the idea of no fires was the same as no lights up into the sky at night.

To protect Mt Stromlo from a cloudly haze

They should never have approved the development at the foot of Mt Stromlo in the first place!!! God, talk about making the light pollution problem WORSE!!!

We have had enough developments, CANBERRA IS FULL.

Considering how many people on here go on about house prices, this comment made me smirk.

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd 12:45 am 01 Oct 12

Mr Gillespie said :

gooterz said :

Thought the idea of no fires was the same as no lights up into the sky at night.

To protect Mt Stromlo from a cloudly haze

They should never have approved the development at the foot of Mt Stromlo in the first place!!! God, talk about making the light pollution problem WORSE!!!

We have had enough developments, CANBERRA IS FULL.

lol just lol

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