The humble backyard barbecue is quintessentially Australian. From snags in bread to burgers and chops, the barbecue is suitable for any family celebration. But the Tasmanian Government is planning to introduce tougher laws restricting smoke that comes from cooking on barbecues, with a maximum applicable fine of $1600 for those who act ‘unlawfully’.
The Tasmanian government has released a draft of new smoke laws that reduce the number of landholders allowed to burn vegetation and toughen standards around wood-heater emissions, which sounds great. However, the same draft also makes it easier for the government to fine Tasmanians if their barbecues produce too much smoke.
The draft, which you can read on the Environmental Protection Authority Tasmania website, says that barbecue smoke is unlawful if:
(1) A person must not cause, or allow, a heating appliance, an outdoor heating or cooking appliance or a fireplace to emit smoke that –
(a) is 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 or more –
(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.
Basically, if your barbecue is producing visible smoke for more than 10 continuous minutes, or produces smoke that is visible from a distance of 10 metres or more for 30 continuous seconds, in instances illustrated above, then it’s unlawful.
The Tasmanian public have been invited to give their opinions on the draft of the new laws by August 17, by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org or sending letters to:
Environmental Policy and Support Services
Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment
GPO Box 1751
Hobart, TAS 7001
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