Queanbeyan’s smoke problems are bad, too. The smell of smoke here is pervasive and looking into our narrow southern valley from heights reveals how so much pollution is caused by so few. Wood smoke is a rich cocktail of carcinogens, toxins and irritants.
Naturally, neighbours of polluters fare worse. One in eight people have asthma (one in five kids). That means that every wood heating house probably has an asthma sufferer nearby.
Governments care more about the combustion rights of a tiny minority than the breathing rights of the vast majority.
Voluntary regulation is ineffective when the private benefits of antisocial behaviour are high. And schemes that pay some people modest amounts to remove wood heaters while others are permitted to install them are fiscal folly. Regulating wood quality through sellers is flawed, too, as people cut their own.
And as for sustainability, an A.C.T. report says that 90% of the fuel is from paddock trees that aren’t replaced!
[ED – on the other hand having a wood fire is great for convincing desirable people to stay the night!]