Image for Smoke and mirror madness ... Forestry burns legal, yet backyard BBQs could be censured

*Pic: Atomic bomb-style smoke plumes of a typical autumn day in the Southern Forests.  - Pic source unknown

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All BBQ’s produce smoke to some degree

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Just when you think our bumbling bureaucrats can’t lose the plot any deeper, some public service cuckoo comes up with the loony idea to curb urban smoke. That’s right, unbelievable as it sounds, excessive smoke emissions from the backyard barbeque may soon become a punishable infringement!

Meanwhile back in the Tasmanian bush, millions of tonnes of C02 and smoke pour into the atmosphere every year from the foolhardy stone-age forestry clearfell burning ‘world’s best practice’.

Last autumn STT planned to burn 230 logged coupes. Often smoke from these forestry burns inundate our residential regions, polluting the urban landscape, casting the stench of contaminated air across the island, and adding to our climate change woes.

So what is the new EPA obsession with urban smoke control?

The Tasmanian Government has released draft smoke laws that reduce the number of landholders allowed to burn vegetation and toughen standards around woodheater emissions.
The laws would also make it easier to fine people if their barbecues produce too much smoke.
The draft regulations state that barbecue smoke is unlawful if it is:

(a) visible for a continuous period of 10 minutes or more; and

(b) during that continuous 10-minute period is visible for a continuous period of 30 seconds — (i) in the case of a heating appliance or fireplace in a building, or part of a building at a distance of 10 metres or more from the point on the building, or part of the building, where the smoke is emitted; or (ii) in the case of a heating appliance or outdoor heating or cooking appliance or fireplace that is not in a building, or part of a building — at a distance of 10 metres or more from the point where the smoke is emitted.

It’s inconceivable that someone, on an idyllic summer night, who mistakenly overcooks their snags, could face a ‘on the spot’ $320 fine.

How un-Australian are we becoming!  - It’s as close as fascism as we could imagine, and some may see this as the thin edge of the wedge of undermining our social culture!

The draft rules have been released by the Environmental Protection Authority. - http://epa.tas.gov.au/epa/news/draft-smoke-regulations-2018-released-for-public-comment

Just to make you feel confident that your taxes and fire fighting council levy is worthy of its imposition I will share with you a story from last summer.

Late one Sunday afternoon I answered a call to my home door and was faced with a fully-clad fireman holding a smoke detector in his hand. Behind him was two fire service trucks and at least another 6 or more firemen.

I was told they were responding to a call-out regarding smoke in the area. I let the fire fighter through my house where he peered over the property looking for smoke in some form. The fire service people left the scene and wandered around the street bewildered. Sometime later I saw them again outside and they told me they had located the source of the fire further up the street.

Apparently someone had a barbeque that afternoon and must have burnt their sausages, which emitted some level of smoke so a panic stricken resident dialled 000.

*Ted Mead admits he is overtly guilty of polluting the atmosphere a couple of times a summer when he holds a gas outdoor barbeque with friends, and occasionally overcooks his onions. Ted ponders on what the overpaid/underworked EPA dunderheads actually do during the so-called working week if this is the best they can conjure up to reduce atmospheric pollution.  Maybe it is a ploy for enforcement officers to get double-time Sunday rates as they stealthy prowl the neighbourhood seeking the catastrophic barbeque smoke plume.  God help us!