Response 903087409

Back to Response listing

Contact details

Who you are representing

Please select one item
(Required)
Commonwealth government department
State/territory government department
Local government
Business
Industry body/association
Ticked Community group
Educational institution
An individual
Other
If other please specify
Health groups

Name of your organisation (if applicable)

Organisation
Cleanairtas

What is your submission about?

Please provide a brief summary of your submission

Topic name
We have very limited data on the number of installed wood heating appliances. This applies to every state and territory in Australia. The EPA or health studies sometime estimate the number of wood heaters; however, data is so very out of date it is meaningless. NOTE: Smoke from wood heating appliances is classed as a Group 1 Carcinogen (the highest category along with asbestos and mustard gas) by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the cancer arm of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and yet we do not have reliable numbers. It appears some local councils only collect data on wood heaters installed in new-builds and submitting forms is not actively pursued. Heating appliance installation notifications for existing houses are not required in most jurisdictions.* Some of these heaters can be very old and do not comply with AS/NZ Standards. There has been a significant increase in the number of wood heating appliances sold in recent years according to the Wood Heating Association. This occurs with a downturn in the economy; wood heating can be perceived as being cheaper as power prices rise. We need to know how many wood heating appliances are installed so that proper policy development can occur. Health, the EPA and the community need to know numbers so meaningful discussions can take place rather than just guessing numbers. *The first port of call for an insurance company, if there is a fire, is to the local council to see if the heating appliance is registered. If not, owners will most likely have to fight for a payout.

Choose your area of interest

Please select one item
(Required)
Population
Sex and gender
Ticked Households and families
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
Income and work
Unpaid work and care
Education and training
Disability and carers
Housing
Location
Transport
Cultural diversity
Religion
Other topic

Assessment Criteria 1

1. This topic is of current national importance.

National Importance
The topic is of current national importance. Data is needed to support policy development, planning of program monitoring, guidelines, regulations and new legislation if deemed necessary. This cannot be done if numbers are not known. Data is needed and used for research purposes

Assessment Criteria 2

2. There is a need for data from a Census of the whole population.

For whole population
There is a need for data from a Census of the whole population. Data is needed for small and large population groups , for small and large geographical areas; state-wide and across state borders. Smoke from point sources can be small or large and can travel varying distances. It might be smoke from a neighbour’s wood heater, it could be smoke from wood heaters in a whole town, or it could be smoke from Tasmania traveling to the mainland and vice versa. Wood smoke is mainly made up of PM2.5 particulates. PM2.5 particulates can travel up to 1000Km and can stay airborne for over a week. Cleanairtas is known across Tasmania, Australia, and different parts of the world. The value of the topic is enhanced through combining with other characteristics collected in the Census, e.g., Low socioeconomic groups, and Other group data listed on page 3 of this submission form.

Assessment Criteria 3

3. The topic can be accurately collected in a form which the household completes themselves.

Easy to answer
The topic can be accurately collected in a form which the household completes themselves. Wood smoke is very current topic in the media therefore the need for collecting data is likely to be easily understood by respondents. The topic can be collected in a few simple questions, e.g. How do you heat your home or business? You can answer more than one. 1) Wood, 2) oil, 3) gas, 4) electricity, 5) pellet, 6) other, 7) n/a? If you answered wood: Do you have: 1) a wood heater or, 2) an open fireplace? How old is your wood heater in years? <2, 5, 10, 15, 20, or greater. The topic is likely to be easily understood by respondents The topic can be collected in simple questions Respondents should easily know the answer to the questions The questions are easy and quick to answer  

Assessment Criteria 4

4. The topic would be acceptable to Census respondents.

Acceptable
The topic would be acceptable to Census respondents. The topic should not be considered intrusive. Most premises in Australia have some form of heating. Respondents should be willing and able to answer accurately.

Assessment Criteria 5

5. The topic can be collected efficiently.

Collected efficiently
The topic can be collected efficiently. The topic or question will not present major difficulties for coding the information The topic or question will not require extensive processing The topic will not significantly add to the overall cost of the Census The topic will not require a lengthy instruction or explanation The collection of data on the topic will not require a large number of response categories or multiple questions

Assessment Criteria 6

6. There is likely to be a continuing need for data on this topic in the following Census.

Continuing need
There is likely to be a continuing need for data on this topic in the following Census. Data will change overtime depending on many factors: We are seeing great changes with how people run their budget, e.g., Sola power, on-grid pricing, and turning to wood. People are becoming more environmentally conscious. New homes are sometimes made to conform to energy star rating. The topic is likely to remain relevant into the future because of these changes. There is a need for time series data on the topic for current, accurate, and meaningful trends to show.

Assessment Criteria 7

7. There are no other alternative data sources or solutions that could meet the topic need.

No alternatives
There are no other alternative data sources or solutions that could meet the topic need. Funding is not available at local level or Australia-wide for an ABS heating survey. This has been asked previously of the ABS. Data cannot be produced by integration of existing data sources. There are no other such data sources being collected by Commonwealth, State, local government, or private sources.

Any further comments?

If you would like to tell us anything else about your submission, please comment below.

Further comments
There is no current data available on the number, location, or type of heating appliances, in particular wood heating appliances, across Australia and there needs to be.