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Thursday, 27 June 2013
Page: 7280

Home Insulation Program


Mr HUNT (Flinders) (14:50): My question is to the Prime Minister. I remind the Prime Minister that he was responsible for the home insulation program that cost $1 billion to fix and was linked to four tragedies, more than 220 house fires, thousands of electrified roofs and thousands of job losses, and that he personally received at least 10 direct warnings. Will the Prime Minister apologise to all those affected and—

The SPEAKER: Order! The member for Flinders will resume his seat. The Deputy Prime Minister has the call.

Mr Albanese: Speaker, there was more than a little bit of argument in that question. There were assertions and arguments put forward by the member. He should be asked to rephrase the question without the argument.

The SPEAKER: Order! The member for Flinders will restate the question without the argument.

Mr HUNT: Thank you very much, Speaker. I remind the Prime Minister that he was responsible for the home insulation program and that he personally received at least 10 direct warnings. Will the Prime Minister apologise to all those affected and release all letters of warning from then Minister Garrett?






Mr RUDD (Griffith—Prime Minister) (14:52): I thank the honourable member for his question. Any industrial accident in Australia is one accident too many. Any industrial death in Australia is one death too many. Each year we have thousands of such deaths across Australia and those four that the honourable member referred to were a source of enormous grief to their families and loved ones. As for the insulation program, the honourable member will be familiar with the extensive debate which occurred in this chamber in the previous parliament.

Mr Abbott: Speaker, on a point of order: the Prime Minister was asked to release all documents and correspondence between himself and the former minister and he should respond to that.

The SPEAKER: Order! The Leader of the Opposition will resume his seat. The Deputy Prime Minister will resume his seat. The Prime Minister has the call and is being relevant to the question.

Mr RUDD: Thank you very much, Speaker. I thank again the honourable member for his question because it deals with industrial deaths which came directly out of an Australian government program. There are industrial deaths which occur in this country, regrettably, every week. We are concerned about workers who die in their place of employment—and I know there are many members here who come from the trade union movement who have been engaged in this all their lives. I regret any industrial death which occurs in this country including the four that you have just referred to.