4 April 2023

PODCAST: The Hoot on the Voice, Labor and getting the government out of your wood heater

| Genevieve Jacobs
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wood fire with The Hoot logo

Is this the end of wood heaters in Canberra homes? Photo: Wiki commons.

The Hoot is here, and this week’s podcast has plenty of news and ideas from Ngunnawal country, including whether the ACT Government has any place in your wood heater (and what was it doing there in the first place? )

We start with the big stories – we now have the final wording for the Voice referendum and it’s pretty straightforward.

Listen on other platforms:

Senior legal brains have said it’s also foolproof, so is that really the case? We’ve been looking at a couple of well-qualified constitutional law opinions on the topic of whether the Voice could force government to do its will.

So, are there hidden agendas in either the yes or no cases?

READ ALSO Voice referendum question revealed by tearful PM

The end result of the NSW State election is in slightly more doubt than seemed likely on Saturday night. But what’s clear is that regional Labor played a meaningful role in putting the party back in power in Macquarie St.

That will include Steve Whan, who appears to have easily defeated incumbent Nichole Overall despite having entered the race only weeks before. The new (old) Member for Monaro brings a safe pair of hands to the role and plenty of experience, but the larger question may still be what Labor can do for regional NSW.

READ ALSO It’s Whan for the ages as Steve gets going for Monaro (again)

Have lessons been learned from the Federal experience? Given the support from Monaro, South Coast and even Goulburn, where results were on a knife edge, there looks like plenty of willingness for change in the regions if Chris Minns can back it up with meaningful action.

Back in Canberra, the ACT Government is talking again about banning wood heaters from all new houses, pulling them out of old houses before they’re sold and generally imposing tough conditions around heating your house with a blazing fire as the midwinter chill settles.

READ ALSO Ban all new wood heater installations and replace the rest to improve Canberra air quality: report

The problem is pollution, especially in Tuggeranong, and the latest government report is scathing about the effects woodsmoke particulates have on people with breathing problems.

Is a ban the answer? Or just better-quality firewood and heaters? Could it be a case of where there’s smoke, there’s ire?

The Hoot appears every week on Riotact and wherever you get your podcasts, including Apple and Spotify. Have a listen, tell us what you think and rate us.

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Let’s be clear, burning wood isn’t safe no matter the wood just like standing next to a smoker which is why smoking is banned in most places. I’m breathing in smoke all year around believe it or not in which I can’t keep out of my own home coming from a Woodfire Heater.

I’ve contacted my local council who referred me to the EPA who are just as useless as the council. It seems to be not their problem but it will be I assure you

Firefighters are compensated for breathing in smoke when when putting out fires getting sick very sick , the only difference is I don’t put out fire but breathe the same smoke. My lungs state that I have smoked all my life but haven’t smoked a single cigarette in my life.

No compensation claim will pay for your health and quality of life.

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