‘Burn Better’ This Winter To Reduce Air Pollution

Australian Greens

Canberrans who use wood heaters can take simple steps to ‘burn better’ this winter and protect the health of our community and our local environment.

Minister for the Environment, Parks and Land Management Rebecca Vassarotti said the air quality in the ACT is usually very good however we do experience elevated pollution during winter due to wood heater emissions.

“Smoke from wood heaters is one of the largest sources of air pollution in the ACT which can have serious health impacts on vulnerable members of our community,” Minister Vassarotti said.

“We all have a responsibility to protect our community and the environment. Wood heater owners should take all reasonable and practical steps to minimise harm to our environment and community members who may find it difficult to breathe properly due to this smoke.

“There are many ways Canberrans can use their wood heaters responsibly to increase the efficiency and reduce the smoke it produces such as getting the heater and flue professionally cleaned.

“It is an offence to burn anything other than dry untreated wood in a wood heater. It is also an offence to collect from Canberra’s Nature parks, reserves and public land. Fallen logs and sticks provides shelter and food for our countless native species, so it’s important that people do the right thing and leave them where they are.

“The ACT Parks and Conservation Service works closely with ACT Policing to enforce the Nature Conservation Act and if people are caught doing the wrong thing, they could be prosecuted.

“I strongly recommend households with wood heaters and gas appliances to transition to an efficient and affordable electric heating and cooling system.

“The ACT Government offers support to households to transition away from wood fired heating. The Wood Heater Removal Program provides a rebate for eligible households to remove their wood heaters and the Sustainable Household Scheme provides no interest loans for eligible households to replace appliances with efficient electric alternatives.

“We are committed to preventing air pollution and taking steps to help keep our environment and community safe. This is why we have implemented strict national emissions and efficiency standards for wood heaters and advocated for even lower emissions standards through the current review of the Australian Standards for wood heaters.

“The Environment Protection Legislation Amendment Bill has recently been introduced into the Assembly to include an offence to install a non-compliant wood heater in the ACT. This compliments the existing offence for selling a non-complaint wood heater.

For tips on how to use your wood heater responsibility or to find out about rebates and incentives available to remove wood heaters and transition to electric appliances visit the ACT Environment website.

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