NSW STATE ELECTIOn CAMPAIGN 2023
Welcome to our wood smoke campaign for the 2023 NSW state election scheduled for 25 March 2023.
Now is the time to begin to raise the issue of wood smoke pollution with your local representatives. Please consider ringing or meeting with the candidates for your electorate. A phone call or a visit is more effective than any email.
To find your MP's/candidate's email address
Visit the NSW Parliament website to find your local sitting Member of Parliament (MP) for the lower house (district) and their email address. You may also wish to email your upper house (region) members too. We also have information below about how to find details of your local candidates.
To find out the name of your local member you first need to establish the electorate in which you reside. You can do this by visiting the NSW Electoral Commission website and entering the details of your suburb and street: https://roll.elections.nsw.gov.au/areafinder/
You can also refer to the Wikipedia page for the 2023 NSW state election - which is updated with information about candidates and sitting members.
You may be interested to keep updated via Antony's Greens blog for the NSW election
Visiting your state MP or candidate? Please print and handout our campaign factsheet.
DRAFT EMAIL - COPY AND PASTE
To: Your sitting MP/candidate
Subject line: Clear our air campaign - stop wood smoke pollution in our neighbourhoods
I’m a resident and voter in your area. I am concerned about air pollution in my neighbourhood and its impact on the community's health and our climate. I am asking for your support for measures to stop wood smoke pollution in residential areas of NSW.
Your story here:
Even though a small minority (5 -10%) of NSW residents use wood heaters, they have a major impact on our environment and the health of all. The draft NSW Clean Air Strategy - https://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/topics/air/clean-air-strategy/draft-nsw-clean-air-strategy-public-consultation found that wood smoke pollution from wood heaters (PM2.5) is actually increasing, from 31% (study published in 2019) to 42% (Fig 13, draft NSW Clean Air Strategy). As the report states 'Wood heaters were responsible for the single largest health impact (compared with air pollution from other sources) in NSW'. They are also a major source of pollution in regional centres such as Armidale.
Of the 282 submissions to the draft NSW Clean Air Strategy, 71 submissions (over 25%) called for stricter proposals to reduce wood heater pollution. In response the final NSW Clean Air Strategy 2021-30 made no commitments to reduce air pollution from wood heaters: https://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/lc/papers/pages/qanda-tracking-details.aspx?pk=93501
Asthma Australia response stated that 'Domestic woodfired heater smoke is the leading human-made source of the unhealthy air pollutant PM2.5 (fine particular matter) in Sydney and is directly linked to increases in asthma symptoms and Emergency Department visits. The NSW Government’s Clean Air Strategy does not adequately address one of the biggest sources of air pollution and a major cause of asthma, domestic woodfire heaters. 'Woodfire heaters still a burning issue in NSW air quality plan despite other commitments - Asthma Australia
Wood burning emits short-lived climate pollutants and raises atmospheric CO2. For an equal amount of heat or electricity, wood burning releases more CO2 than burning gas, oil and even coal. Wood smoke pollution is also a major contributor to illness and premature death in our community, including asthma , strokes, heart attacks, lung cancer and other cancers. Australia-wide, the estimated cost for our health system is $3.4 billion per year.
The current policy promoted by the NSW government and industry is to ‘burn better’, by encouraging people to use wood heaters that meet existing standards and to burn dry, untreated wood. But this is ineffective. Research shows all wood heaters produce fine particulate pollution at harmful levels, regardless of burning method or modern heater design. In particular, the current approach is failing to protect the health of our children. New Zealand research finds that for every new modern wood heater per hectare there is a 7% increased risk that a child under 3 years will end up in emergency.
The burning of wood is unnecessary given the wide-spread availability of clean, affordable, energy efficient options. Many in the community now support action to stop wood smoke pollution. A recent nationally representative survey by Asthma Australia shows that 77% of people agree that woodfire heaters should not be allowed in residential areas.
As my representative I ask you for your support for the following measures:
Reduce the barriers for people to switch to cleaner heating: by introducing a wood heater replacement scheme (as has been done in Victoria, ACT and Tasmania) to ensure households with wood heaters are supported to switch to clean heating alternatives that are appealing, affordable, and tailored to their situation.
Public education: Fund a wider education campaign on air pollution and the health impacts of wood smoke to encourage more people to switch to healthier heating (as suggested by Asthma Australia – Airsmart)
Reduce the numbers of wood heaters by proposing/supporting legislation: to require that no new wood heater be installed in residential areas of NSW and wood heaters to be removed at point of sale of a house (except where there is no access to mains gas or electricity).
Provide additional support for regional/rural areas via a program to address concerns in regional/rural areas, including education on the health and environmental harms of wood smoke, heating alternatives and comprehensive support to switch to healthier home heating.
Gain support for this approach with the federal government so that NSW’s success can be replicated and benefit other states and territories.
I would appreciate your response with regards actions you will take as my representative in the NSW Parliament to gain support for these measures.
You name and address
Other parties and representatives
You may also consider writing to particular political parties to ask for their support. See below links to the main NSW party websites:
Please stay tuned for future email campaigns on wood smoke for upcoming state and territory elections - such as NT & QLD 2024; Federal, WA & Tasmania 2025; and ACT 2026.
Asthma Australia has also developed a letter you may wish to use to send to your representatives to ask them to introduce a wood heater replacement scheme.
The Centre for Air pollution, energy and health Research have recently produced an excellent fact sheet on wood smoke.