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Another busy couple of days with the Premier and the DET on the back foot.

 

Eight new articles on the issue.


Minister knew about school heater dangers

BEN CUBBY
May 24, 2010, Sydney Morning Herald

The Education Minister, Verity Firth, was warned by her department more than a year ago that unflued gas heaters in NSW schools were giving off indoor air pollution at ''levels over that considered safe for human exposure'', documents obtained by the Herald show.

The ministerial briefing note, the accuracy of which was endorsed by senior bureaucrats, contradicts many of the public statements Ms Firth has since made about the health impacts of the heaters.


Read more »


Keneally assures unflued heaters safe

ADAM BENNETT
May 24, 2010, Sydney Morning Herald

AAP

The NSW government has assured parents that unflued gas heaters are safe for school students, saying a departmental note warning of health risks is incorrect.

An internal NSW Department of Education (DET) briefing document obtained by Fairfax Media said "a substantial proportion" of the 51,000 unflued gas heaters in NSW public schools had unsafe emissions levels.


Read more »



Keneally assures unflued heaters safe

Mon May 24 2010, Nine News
By Adam Bennett

The NSW government has assured parents that unflued gas heaters are safe for school students, saying a departmental note warning of health risks is incorrect.

An internal NSW Department of Education (DET) briefing document obtained by Fairfax Media said "a substantial proportion" of the 51,000 unflued gas heaters in NSW public schools had unsafe emissions levels.

But NSW Premier Kristina Keneally on Monday repeated her assurances of last week, saying the heaters are safe for students if they are appropriately operated and maintained.


Read more »



Education Minister Verity Firth knew of school heater dangers

May24, 2010, Adelaide Now
EDUCATION Minister Verity Firth was warned by her department more than a year ago that unflued gas heaters in NSW schools were giving off indoor air pollution at "levels over that considered safe for human exposure".

The Sydney Morning Herald says a ministerial briefing note it obtained, the accuracy of which was endorsed by senior bureaucrats, contradicts many of the public statements Ms Firth has since made about the health impacts of the heaters.

The unflued heaters have in fact been tested annually since 2000, according to the ministerial briefing note sent to Ms Firth in April last year.

Read more »


Keneally assures unflued heaters safe

By Adam Bennett, May 24, 2010, 7 News
The NSW government has assured parents that unflued gas heaters are safe for school students, saying a departmental note warning of health risks is incorrect.

An internal NSW Department of Education (DET) briefing document obtained by Fairfax Media said "a substantial proportion" of the 51,000 unflued gas heaters in NSW public schools had unsafe emissions levels.

But NSW Premier Kristina Keneally on Monday repeated her assurances of last week, saying the heaters are safe for students if they are appropriately operated and maintained.

Read more »



$850,000 buys Sutton school 'unusable library'

BY SCOTT HANNAFORD, EDUCATION REPORTER
25 May, 2010, Canberra Times
When Sutton Public School was told it would receive an $850,000 new library under the federal Building the Education Revolution program, the school community leapt at the chance to replace its cramped, tired existing demountable building.

...

Now all-but complete at a cost of about $5600 a square metre, the Parents and Citizens Association has given up on using the new building as a library and is preparing to invest a further $15,000 of its own money to install cabling and airconditioning to make it usable as a computer lab. Money may also be required to deal with an unflued gas heater that was installed, following concerns raised recently about potential health risks linked to their use in NSW schools.


Read more »



Scrap unflued heaters: asthma group


24th May 2010, Tweed Daily News
THE NSW government should replace all the unflued gas heaters in public schools, after a report confirmed many of them are a health risk.
© istockphoto.com/Selahattin BAYRAM

THE NSW government should replace all the unflued gas heaters in public schools, after a report confirmed many of them are a health risk, Asthma Foundation NSW says.

It says a 2008 Department of Commerce study of unflued gas heaters in the Blue Mountains found that 30 per cent of classrooms fitted with new unflued gas heaters had nitrogen dioxide levels well in excess of World Health Organisation standards.

These levels of the gas could trigger a serious asthma attack, the foundation says.

Read more »



Minister told of school unflued heater health risks


Monday 24 May 2010

NSW Education Minister Verity Firth has been caught misleading the public and failing to protect the health of the students in her care, according to Greens NSW MP John Kaye. (‘Minister knew about school heater dangers’ Sydney Morning Herald 24 May 2010, page 1, Read more »)

Dr Kaye said: “In early April 2009 her office was told that a substantial number of the so-called ‘low nox’ unflued gas heaters were ‘testing at nitrogen dioxide levels over that considered safe for human exposure.’

“Despite the Department of Health’s warning, Verity Firth allowed her Department to continue to install unflued gas heaters for another year.


Read more »

 

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