Pages tagged "victoria"
Sign the Open Letter
Gas is a harmful, polluting and expensive form of energy, and should be replaced with renewable electricity as soon as possible.
The Victorian Government started this process with a Gas Substitution Roadmap in 2022 but it does not go far or fast enough to protect people’s health. The ACT has already committed to new homes being built gas-free - we want more for Victorians!
If you work or study in health or community services, please sign our open letter calling on the Victorian Government to take action. Together we’re calling on the Victorian Government to commit to no new gas connections to homes by 2025 and to support vulnerable households to make the transition to renewable electricity.
If you’re a health or community service organisation please email us here: [email protected]
If you don't work or study in health or community services, we'd love you to share this page with your networks.
You can read more about the problem and solution with gas in the homes here and in this fact sheet by Doctors for the Environment Australia.
To: the Hon. Lily D’Ambrosio MP, Victorian Minister for Climate Action, Energy and Resources
cc: the Hon. Mary-Anne Thomas MP, Victorian Minister for Health & the Hon. Daniel Andrews MP, Premier of Victoria
Dear Minister D’Ambrosio,
The burning of gas in homes is threatening the health and wellbeing of Victorians and is contributing to catastrophic climate change. As health and community service workers, students and organisations we request that your government replace household gas with renewable-powered electricity urgently.
The Victorian Government’s Gas Substitution Roadmap  is a welcome step in the right direction, but currently lacks detail on the necessary timeframe for transition and assistance for Victorians on low incomes. We call on you to address these issues in the 2023 Roadmap update to reduce cost of living pressures and protect Victorians’ health and wellbeing.
Domestic gas use poses a range of direct and indirect risks to health, which many of us are witnessing in the communities we serve:
Indoor pollution from gas appliances causes and exacerbates asthma and other illnesses and can even cause death .
Pollution from gas stoves has been estimated to account for 12% of the childhood asthma burden in Australia .
A child living in a house with a gas stove faces roughly a 30% increased risk of asthma . This is comparable to a child living with household cigarette smoke [5,6].
- Carbon monoxide poisoning from gas appliances is a well recognised and preventable cause of emergency department attendances  and has caused tragic fatalities .
- Pollution from gas stoves has been estimated to account for 12% of the childhood asthma burden in Australia .
Rising gas prices are putting people’s physical and mental health at risk:
Many Australians are struggling to pay their energy bills, and this is more common among renters, people with low incomes and people with disabilities or chronic health conditions . Last year Victorian wholesale gas prices more than doubled , increasing the risk of energy poverty for Victorians using gas.
When people cannot afford to maintain their homes at optimal temperatures they are more prone to both heat and cold-related illnesses, which already kill roughly 10,000 Australians every year [11-13].
People who struggle to pay their energy bills can limit their expenditure on food and medicines and can suffer significant mental health impacts from extreme temperatures and financial stress [14,15].
Overall, energy poverty is associated with poorer self-reported health in Australia .
- Because electric reverse-cycle heating is cheaper than gas heating  and this price difference is projected to increase  it is urgent to assist Victorians, and particularly those most vulnerable, to switch from gas to electricity as soon as possible.
- Many Australians are struggling to pay their energy bills, and this is more common among renters, people with low incomes and people with disabilities or chronic health conditions . Last year Victorian wholesale gas prices more than doubled , increasing the risk of energy poverty for Victorians using gas.
- The burning of gas is driving dangerous climate change. Victoria uses more gas than any other Australian state or territory and gas use accounts for approximately 17% of Victoria's greenhouse gas emissions . Climate change is a health emergency that has become all too apparent to Australians in recent years due to devastating floods, bushfires and other extreme weather events.
Households must be supported to switch from gas to electricity as soon as possible. Indigenous and culturally and linguistically diverse communities should be actively engaged in this process, and specific requirements must be set for rental properties. As a precedent, the Australian Capital Territory has already phased out gas connections to new homes . We therefore request that you update the Victorian Gas Substitution Roadmap to include:
A commitment to no new gas connections to Victorian homes by 2025,
- Means-tested financial assistance (e.g. direct subsidies, rebates and/or no-interest loans) for Victorians to replace their gas heaters, stoves and hot water systems with electric alternatives,
- No further gas appliances to be offered through the Victorian Energy Upgrade Program after 2023,
- A requirement for landlords to replace any gas appliances that fail after 2023 with energy-efficient electric alternatives,
- Abolition of gas disconnection fees by the end of 2023, and
- A commitment to replacing gas with electricity in all public housing and all public and government buildings, including proposed public housing such as the Commonwealth Games Village in Morwell.
We would welcome an opportunity to meet with you to discuss this further.
- DELWP (Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning) 2022, Gas Substitution Roadmap, DELWP, Victorian Government, accessed 11 January 2023 via https://www.energy.vic.gov.au/renewable-energy/victorias-gas-substitution-roadmap
- Ewald, B, Crisp, G & Carey, M 2022, ‘Health risks from indoor gas appliances’, Australian Journal of General Practice, vol. 51, no. 12, viewed 11 January 2023, https://www1.racgp.org.au/ajgp/2022/december/health-risks-from-indoor-gas-appliances
- Knibbs, LD, Woldeyohannes, S, Marks, GB & Cowie, CT 2018, ‘Damp housing, gas stoves, and the burden of childhood asthma in Australia’, Medical Journal of Australia, vol. 208, no. 7, pp299-302, viewed 11 January 2023, https://www.mja.com.au/journal/2018/208/7/damp-housing-gas-stoves-and-burden-childhood-asthma-australia
- Lin, W, Brunekreef, B & Gehring, U 2013, ‘Meta-analysis of the effects of indoor nitrogen dioxide and gas cooking on asthma and wheeze in children’, International Journal of Epidemiology, vol. 42, no. 6, pp1724–1737, https://doi.org/10.1093/ije/ dyt150
- Jayes, L, Haslam, PL, Gratziou, CG, Powell, P, Britton, J, Vardavas, C, Jimenez-Ruiz, C, Leonardi-Bee, J, Dautzenberg, B, Lundbäck, B, Fletcher, M, Turnbull, A, Katsaounou, P, Heederik, D, Smyth, D, Ravara, S, Sculier, J-P, Martin, F & Orive, JIDG 2016, ‘SmokeHaz: systematic reviews and meta-analyses of the effects of smoking on respiratory health’, CHEST, vol. 150, no. 1, pp164–179, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chest.2016.03.060
- Vork, KL, Broadwin, RL & Blaisdell, RJ 2007, ‘Developing asthma in childhood from exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke: insights from a meta-regression’, Environmental Health Perspectives, vol. 115, no. 10, pp1394–1400, https://doi.org/10.1289/ehp.10155
- Zorbalar, N, Yesilaras, M & Aksay, E 2014, ‘Carbon monoxide poisoning in patients presenting to the emergency department with a headache in winter months’, Emergency Medicine Journal, vol. 31(e1):e66–70. doi: 10.1136/emermed-2012-201712
- Coroners Court of Victoria 2013, Inquest into the death of Tyler Robinson, viewed 11 January 2023 at www.coronerscourt.vic.gov.au/sites/default/files/2018-12/tylerrobinson_203810.pdf
- Bryant, D, Porter, E, Rama, I & Sullivan, D 2022, Power pain: an investigation of energy stress in Australia, accessed 11 January 2023 via https://www.bsl.org.au/research/publications/power-pain/
- Australian Energy Regulator 2023, Victorian gas market average daily weighted prices by quarter, viewed 30 January 2023 at https://www.aer.gov.au/wholesale-markets/wholesale-statistics/victorian-gas-market-average-daily-weighted-prices-by-quarter
- Cheng, J, Xu, Z, Bambrick, H, Su, H, Tong, S & Wenbiao, H 2019, ‘Impacts of health, cold and temperature variability on mortality in Australia, 2000-2009’, Science of the Total Environment, vol. 651, part 2, pp2558-2565, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.10.186
- Gasparrini, A, Guo, Y, Hashizume, M, Lavigne, E, Zanobetti, A, Schwartz, J, Tobias, A, Tong, S, Rocklöv, J, Forsberg, B, Leone, M, De Sario, M, Bell, ML, Guo, YL, Wu, C, Kan, H, Yi, S, de Sousa Zanotti Stagliorio Coelho, M, Saldiva, PHN, Honda, Y, Kim, H & Armstrong, B 2015, ‘Mortality risk attributable to high and low ambient temperature: a multicountry observational study’, The Lancet, vol. 386, no. 9991, pp369-375, viewed 11 January 2023 at https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(14)62114-0/fulltext
- ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics) (2022) Deaths, Australia 2021, viewed 11 January 2023 at https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/people/population/deaths-australia/latest-release
- Dignam, J & Barrett, B 2022, Cold and costly: Renter Researchers' Experiences of Winter 22, accessed 11 January 2023 via https://www.betterrenting.org.au/renter_researchers_winter_22
- Porto Valente, C, Morris, A & Wilkinson, S 2021, ‘Energy poverty, housing and health: the lived experience of lower income Australians’, Building Research & Information, vol. 50, no. 1-2, pp16-18, https://doi.org/10.1080/09613218.2021.1968293
- Churchill, SA & Smyth, R 2021, ‘Energy poverty and health: panel data evidence from Australia’, Energy Economics vol. 97 , https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eneco.2021.105219
- Sustainability Victoria 2022, Calculate heating running costs, viewed 11 January 2023 at https://www.sustainability.vic.gov.au/energy-efficiency-and-reducing-emissions/save-energy-in-the-home/reduce-heating-costs-at-home/calculate-heating-costs
- McLeod R 2022, Limiting energy bills by getting off gas: all-electric homes after the 2022 energy crisis, Renew Australia, accessed 11 January 2023 via https://renew.org.au/research/limiting-energy-bills-by-getting-off-gas/
- ACT (Australian Capital Territory) Government 2022, Powering Canberra: our Pathway to Electrification, ACT Government, viewed 11 January 2023 at https://www.cmtedd.act.gov.au/open_government/inform/act_government_media_releases/barr/2022/powering-canberra-our-pathway-to-electrification
Clean Energy For Health - VIC
Let's create a healthier future for all Victorians!
We know that climate change is the biggest health threat of the 21st century and that transitioning to clean energy will yield enormous health benefits right across the state.
In the lead up to this year's state election, we're calling for a bipartisan commitment from the Victorian government and opposition to support a policy of 100% renewable energy for Victoria by 2030. This will protect our health and our climate and is line with recommendations by the World Health Organization.
If you work or study in health, please sign the open letter.
If you’re a health organisation please email us here: [email protected]
If you don't work or study in health, we'd love you to share this page with your networks.
To: The Hon. Daniel Andrews, Premier, The Hon. Matthew Guy MP, The Hon. Lily D’Ambrosio MP, Mr James Newbury MP, The Hon. Mary-Anne Thomas MP, Ms Georgie Crozier MLC
We, the undersigned healthcare workers, health organisations and health science students, call for a bipartisan commitment in advance of this year’s state election for 100% of Victoria’s stationary energy to be produced from renewable sources by 2030.
Climate change is the biggest health threat of the 21st century . In Victoria we have seen firsthand physical and mental health impacts from increased extreme weather events such as bushfires and floods. During the 2019-20 bushfires an estimated 120 Victorians died from smoke inhalation alone .
Victoria’s biggest contributor to climate change is the burning of fossil fuels. This also produces air pollution that causes a range of illnesses including lung cancers, asthma, heart disease, stroke and diabetes as well as low weight births and premature deaths.
Those of us who live and work in the Latrobe Valley and Gippsland are particularly concerned as the health impacts of air pollution from fossil fuel-based electricity are disproportionately high in these communities. Burning gas in homes also contributes significantly to asthma [3,4].
A transition to renewable energy can yield enormous health benefits across the state. An analysis released in April this year estimated that bringing forward the closure of just one coal power plant to 2030 (Loy Yang A) would save 1500 lives, prevent 32,000 instances of child asthma symptoms and 1900 babies from being born underweight .
Climate change requires a bipartisan approach, and with this in mind we request that you make a commitment that if elected in November your government will commit to implementing a plan for 100% of Victoria’s stationary energy to be produced from renewable sources by 2030.
We urge you to protect Victorians from the twin health threats of air pollution and climate change by taking the above action.
We look forward to your response.
 https://www.mja.com.au/journal/2020/213/6/unprecedented-smoke-related-health-burden-associated-2019-20-bushfires-eastern (Box 2)