cold on home fires
by Lachlan Heywood
Article from The Courier Mail, Brisbane 2nd July 2002
BRISBANE homeowners will be banned
soon from building open fireplaces under a city council crackdown on chimney
Proposed amendments to the City
Plan will prohibit open fireplaces being built after 2004, while owners of
excessively smoky wood heaters or fireplaces face fines of up to $300.
Community Policy chairman David
Hinchliffe said the fine particles in wood smoke were up to 12 times more toxic
than cigarette smoke.
‘There are romantic
associations with open fires, but there is nothing romantic about the toxic
emissions they cause.’ He said.
Cr Hinchliffe said traditional
fireplaces also were notoriously inefficient, with most of the heat being lost
via the chimney.
It is estimated that up to 25,000
Brisbane households use fireplaces or wood heaters in winter.
Yesterday, temperatures in Brisbane reached a low of 6C.
Cr Hinchliffe said the council
also was serious about ‘getting tough’ on toxic pollution caused by wood
‘Under State Government
legislation, we can fine people up to $300 for nuisance caused by these
emissions,’ he said.
But the Australian Home Heating
Association and council Opposition yesterday attacked the measures, claiming a
ban on brick fire places would have a negligible impact on pollution levels in
Opposition Leader Margaret de Wit
said chimney smoke was not a major issue in Brisbane, given the city’s short
‘There are worse pollution
issues in this city that they should be tackling, such as the pollution from
their buses, which are not serviced properly,’ she said.
The council receives about 400 complaints about chimney smoke each year.