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Thursday, 28 October 2010
Page: 1119

Senator FISHER (6:57 PM) —I take note of this report. I want to commend the Auditor-General on the necessary job that unfortunately the Auditor-General had to do—duty-bound, common sense bound—on the bungled Home Insulation Program. The Auditor-General touches on what is currently the raw nerve of the mop-up of the mess, the aftermath, the wreckage in the wake of the Home Insulation Program—that is, mums and dads who had their roofs insulated under the Home Insulation Program and now know not what they have festering in their ceilings because the government is continuing to refuse to release the results of its inspections. There are now some 100,000 homes that it has inspected.

During Senate estimates the government attempted to say, ‘We’re telling you that 46 per cent of homeowners inspected had foil removed, 40 per cent of homeowners inspected elected to implement safety switches and the other 14 per cent have simply had inspections’. Telling us 46 per cent, 40 per cent and 14 per cent means nothing. It does not tell us what has happened in those ceilings, whether they had bungled installations and whether they have accidents waiting to happen. That is the information to which the Australian public is entitled.

I have written two letters to responsible ministers. I asked questions at estimates. There have been no responses to my letters from ministers and there were no responses at estimates as to how many of the South Australians who had insulation installed under this program had insulation installed by installers who were licensed, as they were required to be by South Australian laws—the only state that at least had some laws requiring insulation installers to be licensed, and it would appear you did not even have to have a South Australian licence to be registered to install this dodgy insulation under this bungled and botched program. At least our response on those issues would possibly provide South Australian mums and dads with some small reassurance, but, no—we are in the dark. We are well insulated—we wish! We still do not know. So thank you very much for not much, government. I seek leave to continue my remarks later.

Leave granted; debate adjourned.