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Rudd in damage control over home insulation -

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Rudd in damage control over home insulation

Samantha Hawley reported this story on Thursday, February 25, 2010 12:19:00

ELEANOR HALL: As well as dealing with the passport concerns the Prime Minister also hit the
airwaves this morning to tell Australians over and over again that he takes full responsibility for
the "problems" with the home insulation scheme.

In a further sign that the Government is in full damage control the Prime Minister called a snap
meeting of Labor senators and members to discuss the crisis.

The Opposition says it's a Government in full panic mode.

In Canberra, Samantha Hawley reports.

SAMANTHA HAWLEY: During his prime ministership Kevin Rudd has been criticised for his confusing
language and his use of big words.

This morning his message was clear and simply.

KEVIN RUDD: I'm the bloke in charge and I take responsibility for what's gone right and what's gone
wrong here.

SAMANTHA HAWLEY: In a media blitz it was a message the Prime Minister delivered again and again.

KEVIN RUDD: I'm the bloke who's responsible. I'm the Prime Minister. I take the responsibility.

I'm the first however to say that we got a lot of things wrong and I intend to fix them up.

There have been real problems here. I understand that. My job is to get in there and fix it up and
I don't walk away from that. It's going to take some time. I just don't walk away from it.

My job as Prime Minister is to get out there and fix the problems which have arisen.

SAMANTHA HAWLEY: He's a Prime Minister in damage control. This morning he called a snap meeting
with all Labor members and senators to discuss the crisis.

He's already unveiled a $41 million package to help workers who've lost their jobs because of the
Government's bungled scheme.

Now there will be more money for insulation firms.

KEVIN RUDD: You see I spoke to a number of the workers and insulation firms yesterday here in
Canberra. These strike me as good, honest folk who have been caught up and are having to pay the
consequences of the work of some shonky operators. So we've got to look after the good people out

SAMANTHA HAWLEY: He was speaking to Neil Mitchell on Melbourne Radio 3AW.

KEVIN RUDD: I said a couple of days ago Neil that as Prime Minister of the country I except full
responsibility for things that go right and things that go wrong. And there have been problems with
the implementation of this. I accept that.

NEIL MITCHELL: Problems? We've got four people dead. We've got old ladies ringing in tears now
because they're frightened. We've got houses burning down.

Prime Minister this is the biggest disaster to reach into people's homes from government in a long

KEVIN RUDD: Neil I don't back away from what's happened on the ground. I think what people expect
me to do is to take charge of fixing up the problems which have arisen.

SAMANTHA HAWLEY: The Prime Minister is being bombarded by examples of dodgy work.

He was confronted with this from Joan who was worried about insulation in her roof.

JOAN: Now I am really scared. I live by myself and I've got nobody to help me.

KEVIN RUDD: What I want to do from your program is to get a number. She has a right to be upset and

SAMANTHA HAWLEY: Then there was Steve the electrician.

STEVE: We had our first inspection of the foil insulation last night at 4.30. The foil was. So
that's our first inspection and it came back completely live. Now my question is, if there is a
risk that insulation is live, all tradesmen that have to get into the roof - why aren't they

KEVIN RUDD: The safety of workers doing this is of number one priority.

TONY ABBOTT: This is a problem of the Government's making. The Government rushed into this program
without proper thought.

We are now having a new program rushed out. We're having rescue packages rushed out. This is a
Government in full panic mode.

SAMANTHA HAWLEY: That's the Opposition Leader Tony Abbott on AM this morning. He's still calling
for the Environment Minister Peter Garrett to be sacked.

TONY ABBOTT: There can be no confidence in the solution if it's being administered by the same
minister who created the problem. And that's the first thing he's got to do. He's got to get rid of
the minister for maladministration. And he's got to stop being Prime Minister blah blah over this.

ELEANOR HALL: That's the Opposition Leader Tony Abbott ending Samantha Hawley's report.