Winter is drawing in, so is now the time to ban wood heaters from the suburbs?
A recent report to the Government is suggesting it’s time for them to go on the basis of health concerns, especially in Tuggeranong. Readers, however, were not convinced.
One wrote: “We have solar panels, reverse cycle, and a wood heater in our suburban home. Our wood heater is not going anywhere. We burn only seasoned wood and it’s extremely efficient. No heat warms your bones like a nice warm fire, and it almost makes Canberra’s winters enjoyable! The people who complain about wood heater smoke live near people who burn green timber and rubbish etc, hence the bellowing smoke!”
And from another, perhaps with tongue in cheek: “Why worry about the asthmatics and those with compromised respiratory systems really? They are only second-class citizens as far as the “woodchuck” mob go. A background pm 2.5 level of around 20 cannot even be detected by the average nostril, so not sure why they are saying there is no safe level. Not as if we are discussing asbestos.”
In last week’s poll, we asked Do we need to ban wood heaters to stop woodsmoke pollution? A total of 1578 readers participated.
Your options were to vote No, improve the heaters, don’t ban wood fires. This attracted 66 per cent of the total, or 1036 votes.
Alternatively, you could vote Yes, nobody’s health is worth risking when there are alternatives. This gained 34 per cent of the total, or 542 votes.
This week we’re wondering whether you are a born and bred northsider or southsider. It’s one of the great Canberra questions along with whether you dare to turn your heater on before Anzac Day and who has the best chips (Kingsley’s, according to most of you).
But it wasn’t always this way.
Before the lake, there was the Molonglo River and plenty of doubt about whether a big stretch of water was a good idea (much of the opposition came from senior bureaucrats who enjoyed the old Royal Canberra golf course, now far beneath the waters).
There were also questions about the cost and grandiosity of the design, but the lake is here to stay thanks to Sir Robert Menzies.
One reader said: “Back in the ’40s when I was a kid, the north-south thing was a social divide rather than geographical. The bus drivers and garbos lived in Ainslie and the embassies and rich people lived in Red Hill and Forrest. North had the high school and south had Girls and Boys Grammar Schools. It was a friendly divide, much like Sydney/Melbourne, Hobart/Launceston. It was in place long before the lake.”
John Dow wrote: “I’ll bet most people think the lake was designed from the beginning as something nice for the population, Silly people, innocent souls. Burley Griffin (or probably Marion) realised from the beginning that the Molonglo River was a flood plain, which would have threatened any development in its riverbed.
“Thus the idea of creating the lake was a no-brainer, and we all benefit, but don’t be fooled into thinking it was purely to give us a nice stretch of water in the middle of the city.”
Our question this week is: