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Work starts on improving safety of gas appliances



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The Hon Martin Ferguson AM MP

Work Starts on Improving Safety of Gas

Appliances

16 May 2011

The Government has today released terms of reference to guide the development of a new strategy aimed at making household gas appliances safer. The Federal, State and Territory Governments are working together though the Ministerial Council on Energy (MCE) to determine the best way to mitigate the deadly consequences of carbon monoxide poisoning caused by faulty appliances.

Australia’s gas safety regulators will examine ways to improve safety such as by promoting greater awareness of the hazards, inspecting appliances and installing carbon monoxide detectors, with a draft strategy examining these measures due back to the MCE by the end of June 2011.

Releasing the terms of reference today, Minister for Resources and Energy Martin Ferguson AM MP underlined the importance of this work to save lives and the need to put in place a final strategy as quickly as possible.

“We have seen too many incidents of people, including children, dying from what could be preventable accidents,” Minister Ferguson said.

“By using the best-available science and getting together Australia’s gas safety experts, this strategy will establish the facts around the causes, scale and types of carbon monoxide poisoning events and help us find the best ways to tackle them.

“This issue requires a common sense approach across state and territory boundaries and political lines in order to implement an effective solution.

“What we are announcing today is a broad review of measures to mitigate the risks of carbon monoxide poisoning and I acknowledge Dr Sharman Stone’s work in raising this important issue.”

This work will include considering lessons from overseas where possible and will be followed by a period of public consultation.

The terms of reference for the strategy is available at www.mce.gov.au.

Media Contact: Fiona Scott - 0457 542 330