COUNCILLORS have submitted a motion to rescind a decision on wood fire heaters.
Controversy arose after Armidale Regional Council voted to support a state government policy that, if passed, would allow them to remove wood fire heaters when houses are sold.
The motion to reverse the October 25 decision is signed by councillors Diane Gray, Jon Galletly and Andrew Murat.
“We strongly believe there was insufficient time available to fully understand the nature of the motion, how it fits the overall environmental sustainability strategy for the Armidale Region and no information or community consultation results were provided,” the motion reads.
Cr Galletly said he felt the decision was rushed.
“We want more education for the ratepayers, for the public, for the new councillors – for the man on the moon if he likes,” Cr Galletly said.
We want more education for the ratepayers, for the public, for the new councillors – for the man on the moon if he likes.Jon Galletly
“We do want to learn about it, we’re not putting our head in the sand about it – we want to learn about this dreaded wood smoke if it is the problem they think it is.
“And if it isn’t, why are they pushing the barrow so hard?”
Armidale Regional Council councillor Margaret O’Connor voted in support of the original decision.
“I think the community debate around wood smoke is great, we've needed these conversations for years,” Cr O’Connor said.
“What many people may not know is that there are very, very aggressive vested interests in the wood heating manufacturers and reseller industry who are great at their job, which is to convince communities that wood fires are safe.
“But I want Armidale city residents to think hard about cosy and clean heating.
“Not just being pushed into a knee jerk response of defending the ‘right’ to pollute the air everyone has to breathe.”
Cr O’Connor stressed the decision wasn’t about banning wood heaters in the immediate future.
The Council wants regulatory support from the state government to address the health benefits of reducing wood smoke, Cr O’Connor said.
“Council does not have a policy of requiring people to remove wood heaters, suggesting we do is simply scaremongering,” she said.
The decision will be made on Wednesday.