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26 July 2021

Media release: Brickworks redevelopment should go all-electric

The Conservation Council ACT Region has called on the Canberra Brickworks developer DomaGroup to commit to excluding gas from all buildings in the development at Yarralumla.

In its submission on the Environmental Impact Assessment, the Council has outlined why DomaGroup should take the opportunity to ensure the Canberra Brickworks development is a gas-free, all-electric precinct, consistent with the urgent need to reduce greenhouse emissions. 

“We are concerned that the Environmental Impact Assessment leaves the door open to supply gas into the precinct, despite the fact that the ACT Climate Change Strategy sets a clear long-term direction to phase out fossil gas across the ACT,” said Helen Oakey, Executive Director. 

“The ACT Government will soon legislate to stop new gas mains in greenfield developments,  and intends to stop new gas connections in infill developments from 2023. Developers who have plans in place should be heeding this and taking early action to ensure that they are not constructing new buildings that are reliant on the gas network. 

DomaGroup’s EIA states that gas might be used in “houses/townhouses, commercial cooking and fireplaces where no viable electrical alternative exists”. 

“Now is the wrong time to be hooking up new connections: these buildings could lock in emissions from gas for decades to come and/or expose tenants to thousands of dollars of unnecessary expense to replace gas appliances as the gas grid becomes redundant.

“There are viable electric solutions for both residential and commercial heating, hot water and cooking, including commercial kitchens and electric fireplaces. New home owners and business owners can save money on running costs by installing all-electric energy-efficient appliances powered by rooftop solar panels and the ACT’s 100% renewable electricity. 

“DomaGroup should show environmental leadership by explicitly ruling out the supply of gas to the precinct and providing information to future homeowners about the advantages of going all-electric.

“We would like to see the ACT Government expedite their timetable for transitioning off gas to provide the building industry and the Canberra community with certainty to inform investment decisions. 

Given the climate emergency and the Government’s target of net-zero emissions by 2045 at the latest, now is the time for the ACT Government to stop approving new gas infrastructure and connections,” said Ms Oakey.

Media contact:
Madeleine Gisz, Communications Manager, Conservation Council ACT Region
0426 672 160