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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 9 Hansard (23 November) . . Page.. 2325 ..

MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

It is a routine amendment and is non-controversial in nature. I commend the Bill to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Wood) adjourned.


MR HUMPHRIES (Attorney-General and Minister for the Environment, Land and Planning) (11.19): Mr Speaker, I present the Air Pollution (Amendment) Bill 1995, together with its explanatory memorandum.

Title read by Clerk.


That this Bill be agreed to in principle.

Mr Speaker, generally Canberra has very good air quality. However, over the past few years there has been increasing concern about smoke pollution caused by solid fuel appliances during our colder months. On many occasions this smoke has given rise to brown haze in certain areas. This is not just unattractive; it also creates physical discomfort for some residents and, in some cases, exacerbates health problems.

Air pollution from solid fuel burning appliances arises from incorrect operating practices which lead to the incomplete combustion of the solid fuel, resulting in smoke pollution. Wood fuel is one of the range of energy efficient resources which, if managed properly, can provide efficient heating with minimal smoke emissions. There are approximately 14,000 solid fuel burning appliances installed and used in the ACT, and many householders have spent a considerable amount of money to buy and correctly install these appliances. However, a small proportion of owners consistently operate their solid fuel appliances incorrectly, causing smoke pollution and discomfort to their neighbours.

To address this situation, the Office of the Environment has conducted campaigns over recent winters to attract attention to the problems of smoke emission, inform owners of appliances about how to use them properly, and encourage the community to identify exactly where smoke problems are occurring. These campaigns have been carried out with the full cooperation of the private sector. While there have been improvements resulting from these campaigns, there is still a residual smoke problem which is unlikely to be completely resolved solely through these campaigns.

As members are aware, the Government has committed itself to introducing effective controls over emissions from solid fuel burning appliances. The Air Pollution (Amendment) Bill 1995 brings all solid fuel burning appliances in residential premises within the scope of the Act by removing the current exemption under section 6 which

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