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The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) released a Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) on the phase out of open flued gas space heaters for public consultation from 29 December 2020 to 22 February 2021. DELWP is currently considering the submissions recieved.

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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.


For more information please see the DELWP website or email

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