Victoria to ban open-flow gas space heaters without automatic shutdown mechanism

Gas Appliance Manufacturers Association of Australia president Ross Jamieson said the ban had surprised the industry and would affect retailers, installers and at least three manufacturers that had been unable to draw down their remaining stock.

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Jamieson said the association was preparing to file a case with the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal ahead of the ban, arguing that it had been working towards a sensible exit for selling the heaters.

“At the eleventh hour to say, when there are a couple of thousand appliances left and consumers with appliances waiting to be commissioned, [that] they’re now inherently dangerous, makes a farce of the whole process,” he said.

“The industry had moved away from the product already. These products are legacy products that are installed in locations where it is not practical to install another product without significant structural changes.”

Energy Safe has led an awareness campaign highlighting safety risks of heaters during the past five years. Jamieson denied heaters remained unsold because of the campaign.

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The agency said it would also monitor online sales of new and second-hand heaters, audit manufacturers and inspect retail outlets.

Williams urged people with heaters to ensure their units were serviced at least once every two years by qualified gas fitters.

“I’d also encourage people to replace their heater when possible. There are many alternative heating options that are cost-effective and more efficient,” she said.

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