Why isn't the government doing anything about it? Print

The Director-General of the DET said:

o he had been told by the NSW Health Department that the heaters were safe, contradicting the results of a 2004 NSW Health Department study.

o as a child at school in Britain, “There was snow outside a lot of the time, and the windows were open. We wore a jumper.”

“It's time the government took the health of teachers and students seriously and stopped installing these unflued gas heaters."

~ Bob Lipscombe,
NSW Teachers Federation President


  • The DET says unflued heaters comply with guidelines set by the Environment Protection and Heritage Council of Australia and New Zealand, as long as one window or door is open on each side of a classroom to allow cross-ventilation.
  • The 2005 Hunter New England Area Health Service study recommended that private schools phase out unflued gas heaters, including the so-called 'low-NOx' models. The state government is putting public school children at risk because it deems these findings not applicable to state schools.
  • Unflued heaters were installed in many schools last year, including Kelso High School in the Central West, where a teacher was taken to hospital after passing out during class when a malfunctioning heater caused carbon monoxide poisoning.

“This comes down to another example of State and Federal governments underfunding public schools across the state. It is a matter of money.”

~ Gary Zadkovich, Teachers Union vice-president

It's not all bad news

  • Blue Mountains City Council , Notice of Motion, Unflued gas heaters at Blackheath Public School (30 October 2007) (item 16, p 4). Note: The link only opens to the Council's agenda for that night - the wording of the motion is in the pdf on the right hand side of the screen entitled '2007-10-30 Notices of Motion'

Thank your for your support,