Towards a low emissions future



23 November 2018

Flammable refrigerant gases – position paper – Government of Western Australia

This Position Paper was developed by the Heads of Workplace Safety Authorities (HWSA) and provides information on the obligations of work health and safety duty holders with respect to the use of flammable refrigerant gases at workplaces.

22 November 2018

Australia's HFC Phasedown

Presentation delivered by RA's Dr Greg Picker at the Montreal Protocol meeting in Quito, Ecuador, November 2018

22 November 2018

Introducing Low GWP Refrigerants: Australia's experience

Presentation delivered by RA's Dr Greg Picker at the Montreal Protocol meeting in Quito, Ecuador, November 2018

2 November 2018

Cold Hard Facts 3

Cold Hard Facts 3 provides an economic and technological assessment of the refrigeration and air conditioning industry in Australia in 2016. The report includes an analysis of the size and economic value of the industry, the equipment and refrigerant gas bank, trends in gas imports and equipment, and direct and indirect emissions in this sector. It expands on, and where possible, makes comparisons with two previous studies; Cold Hard Facts 1 published in 2007, and Cold Hard Facts 2, published in 2013.


11 September 2018

Updating the 2009 National Waste Policy: Less waste, more resources

The purpose of this discussion paper is to seek input on priority issues to be considered in future Australian waste management and resource recovery. Feedback will inform updates to the 2009 National Waste Policy for consideration by environment ministers later this year.

27 August 2018

Accredited course in handling of Class A2/A2L flammable refrigerants

Victoria has approved a formal training unit for A2/A2L refrigerants.  Given the interstate arrangements, this course is now able to be offered anywhere in Australia.

23 August 2018

AIRAH – Walk-in cool room research project

A discussion paper on the initial findings of industry consultation into barriers to energy efficiency in the Walk-in cool room sector in Victoria.

16 August 2018

Cold Hard Facts 3rd Edition: The Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Industry in Australia – A decade of industry growth

The Expert Group is the author of the original Cold Hard Facts study of 2006-7 and the Cold Hard Facts 2 in 2013. Their reports cover nearly 40 major pieces of research and analysis into almost every aspect of the RAC industry, the technology and the supply chains over the past decade.

The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) has an excellent reference page on its website focused on the Standard 34 listed refrigerants.

Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Legislation

The Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Act 1989 and related Acts (the OSGG Acts) protect the environment by reducing emissions of ozone depleting substances (ODS) and synthetic greenhouse gases (SGGs). The OSGG Acts control the manufacture, import and export of ODS and SGGs and products containing these gases. These gases are commonly used as refrigerant gases in refrigeration and air conditioning equipment.

On 30 March 2017, the Minister for Environment and Energy, the Hon Josh Frydenberg MP, introduced the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management Legislation Amendment Bill 2017 to Parliament, which will implement the key outcomes of the 2014-2016 Program Review. Copies of the legislation and the related regulations are available at the Department of the Environment and Energy website.

September 2014
HFC R32 fact sheet

The Air conditioning and Refrigeration Equipment Manufacturers Association of Australia (AREMA), in conjunction with the Consumer Electronics Supplier Association (CESA), has prepared a technical fact sheet on the R32 refrigerant. It answers questions on its potential flammability, toxicity and carcinogenic characteristics. Research confirms that R32 is not an extremely flammable, highly toxic gas that causes cancer (as some industry representatives have suggested).

VIDEO:  The flammable refrigerant experiment that failed at the University of New South Wales

There is no better demonstration of the dangers of using a flammable refrigerant in the automotive industry than the botched experiment that injured the academic whose research work was pivotal in the push for the use of flammable refrigerants in mobile systems for which they were not designed by any mainstream car maker on the planet.

The story was hushed up for some time, and only emerged in court, when the academic, Dr Ian MacLaine Cross was convicted on Workcover charges arising from the incident.

MacLaine Cross, of the University of New South Wales, was charged by Workcover NSW on two breaches of the Dangerous Goods Act. On 12 July 2001, in a University of New South Wales carpark at Kensington, he negligently and carelessly used a hydrocarbon gas, in such a manner and circumstance as to cause or to be likely to cause injury to himself. On the second count, MacLaine Cross was charged with failing to take reasonable care for the health and safety of persons who were affected by his acts and omissions of work, in particular John Reynolds, Paul McGregor and Michael Belsted, who were all injured in the explosion which resulted from MacLaine Cross’ demonstration. MacLaine Cross pleaded guilty to both charges and was convicted on the first and was required to enter into a bond to be of good behaviour for twelve months.   On the second charge, Chief Magistrate Miller exercised his discretion and did not record a conviction, on the defendant entering into a bond to be of good behaviour for twelve months. He also allowed costs totalling $5,720 against the defendant.

MacLaine Cross was then senior lecturer at the University School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering.

Chief Industrial Magistrate G Miller said “This, in many respects, was described as probably a stupid incident when looking at the particular circumstances and hindsight, no doubt the defendant thought otherwise prior to the incident."