A petition calling for restrictions to be lifted from the use of hydrocarbon refrigerants in Queensland, submitted to the state Parliament by One Nation MP for Mirani Stephen Andrews in August, has been given short shrift by Queensland Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy, Dr Anthony Lynham.
The petition, which gathered 588 signatures, made a number of unsubstantiated claims about the energy efficiency of equipment using HCs yielding power bill savings of “over $1million/pa” in New South Wales shopping centres that “report savings of between 27% and 50%”.
Surprising considering One Nation’s record of climate change denial, the petition attempted to strengthen its argument with the claim that “emit 3,300% less CO2 Pollutants/10kg compared to current refrigerants”.
In his response tendered to the Queensland Parliament, Minister Lynham said: “The petition does not provide any information to support the energy saving claims in relation to New South Wales shopping centres. There is no empirical data to support the energy saving figures quoted in the petition. In fact, the Energy Star rating for hydrocarbon refrigeration devices does not reflect the energy saving outlined in the petition. All approved appliances that use hydrocarbon refrigerant will be listed on the Electrical Regulatory Authorities Council’s Electrical Equipment Safety System (EESS) website database.”
The Minister also pointed out that “as of 13 August 2020 there are 2800 models of refrigeration devices that use hydrocarbon refrigerant approved for use in Queensland, therefore the Queensland public has access to a wide range of hydrocarbon refrigeration devices if they choose to purchase them”.
“In summary, the P&G Act is aligned with the relevant regulatory requirements under the workplace health and safety, electrical legislation and the HWSA Position Paper. The legislation is proven by the lack of reported incidents and the support of many associated industry bodies. The Queensland public has access to approved hydrocarbon refrigerant appliances and the Queensland Government provides the appropriate level of industry oversight to maintain public safety.”