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The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) has released a Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) on the phase out of open flued gas space heaters. The RIS is open for public consultation until 22 February 2021.

If you have any queries, please email gas.safety@delwp.vic.gov.au.

Overview

Under certain circumstances, open flued gas space heaters pose a risk of releasing unhealthy and sometimes lethal concentrations of carbon monoxide into buildings. Malfunctioning, poorly or infrequently serviced open flued gas space heaters in residential settings have resulted in the deaths of three Victorians since 2010.

In August 2018, Coroner Hawkins handed down eight recommendations after conducting an inquiry into the tragic death of Ms Sonia Sofianopoulos. The Coroner found that the death of Ms Sofianopoulos was a result of carbon monoxide poisoning, caused by “a confluence of events that proved to be fatal” and made eight recommendations with a key recommendation being that a plan and strategy is implemented to phase out all open flued gas space heaters in Victoria.

In its response to the Coroner's recommendations the Victorian Government supported this recommendation in principle and committed to consider the phase out of open flued gas space heaters through a RIS process to be delivered by DELWP.

Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS)

Produced by Deloitte Access Economics, the RIS was informed by consultation with key stakeholders. The RIS identifies the preferred approach to phasing out open flued gas space heaters involves fast-tracking the implementation of changes to the Australian Standards and adopting stringent new safety requirements for open flued gas space heaters by 1 January 2022.

This option is identified as the preferred as the benefits outweigh the costs and it meets the objectives of maintaining consumer confidence in gas, limiting impacts on the industry and supporting transition compared to other options assessed.

The RIS also identifies that amendments to the Gas Safety (Gas Installation) Regulations could be made if required, and an exposure draft of the Regulations is available for viewing.

Submissions and queries

Your views are being sought on the RIS and the phase out of open flued gas space heaters. You can make a submission via the web form below or uploading a submission document or emailing your submission to gas.safety@delwp.vic.gov.au.

Please make your submission by 22 February 2021.

For more information please see the DELWP website or email gas.safety@delwp.vic.gov.au.

Make a submission

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Privacy collection statement

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) is committed to protecting personal information provided by you in accordance with the principles of the Victorian privacy laws.

All submissions will be treated as public documents and may be published online and/or referenced publicly. The contact information you provide, such as your email address, may also be used to contact you should we need to clarify your submission or provide you with project updates.

If you do not wish to be identified, please ensure there is no information in your submission that could identify you or other individuals. De-identified submissions may be used by DELWP under confidentiality agreements.

If you wish to make an anonymous submission or do not wish to provide your personal information, we will not be able to identify your comment or submission if you wish to access it, make a correction or require technical support.

Should you need to correct the information you provided or gain access to your submission, please contact us via email at gas.safety@delwp.vic.gov.au.

For further information refer to the DELWP privacy policy.