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Gas appliance ban move for Sydney

New homes and businesses in central Sydney could be banned from installing gas appliances and forced to go all-electric under a local council move.

 

Photo: Tony Lewis/InDaily

Photo: Tony Lewis/InDaily

The City of Sydney on Monday voted to start the process of requiring new homes and businesses within the council area be gas-free.

The council takes in Sydney’s central business district and surrounding inner-city suburbs, covering a resident population of more than 210,000 people.

New South Wales Premier Chris Minns previously ruled out banning new gas connections in the state, saying it would further complicate the “extreme” challenges the state faced in its transition to renewable energy.

But local councils have already moved to introduce their own bans, with Waverley in Sydney’s east and Canterbury-Bankstown in the southwest establishing rules that require new buildings to have only electric appliances.

The City of Sydney motion cited health and environmental hazards of using gas for heating and cooking, as well as the increasing costs.

The council committed to updating relevant planning rules to require all new residential and non-residential development applications across the local government area to be all-electric.

The council’s chief executive will prepare advice about which planning controls would need to be amended to allow a ban to be enforced.

Victoria in July announced gas connections would be banned in any homes built in the state from next year onwards, while the ACT is prohibiting connections in new suburbs or infill developments by the end of the year.

Research commissioned by climate advocacy group 350 Australia showed the council’s ban could save every household built in Sydney an average of $430 per year on energy bills.

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Chief executive Lucy Manne said the council’s proposal was a win for the environment and represented a wave of momentum across the state for action.

“We need to end the age of fossil fuels now and we can start by eliminating toxic methane gas from our homes, shops and businesses,” she said.

-with AAP

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