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Wednesday, 16 June 2010
Page: 5572

Mr CHEESEMAN (5:23 PM) —I rise today to speak on this matter of public importance and to refute the central allegations within this matter. The simple facts are that the Home Insulation Safety Plan has been something that this government has been working on for some time now. The opposition continue to play politics with this issue, and of course that does great damage to the retrofitting industry for home insulation. The government is making sure that no stone remains unturned in making sure that this scheme is completed as soon as possible.

The Home Insulation Safety Plan is about making sure that houses are safe after having received insulation under the government’s program. The plan is about making sure that inspectors who complete the inspections of the installations are fully trained and conduct the inspections in a safe and responsible manner. The government is making sure that affected businesses have access to numerous forms of assistance so that confidence in the home insulation retrofitting segment of the industry is maintained.

In contrast, the shadow minister would have us rush this program out, denying the opportunity for people to be properly and adequately trained as inspectors. This government is conducting inspections in a reasonable manner that will provide for the greatest risk minimisation to households and to inspectors. We have responsibly engaged PricewaterhouseCoopers to oversee the Home Insulation Safety Program. Under this program a minimum of 150,000 homes that were installed with nonfoil insulation will be inspected. This will be aimed at homes that will be deemed most likely to be unsafe. More houses will be inspected if ongoing risk assessments indicate such a need. Currently 37,000 houses have already been inspected under the Home Insulation Safety Program, with approximately 5,000 of these being done by urgent request.

For houses installed with foil insulation, we have again engaged PricewaterhouseCoopers to manage the Foil Insulation Safety Program. This program provides a licensed electrical contractor to inspect homes installed with foil insulation and to rectify any safety issues arising from the installations. Rectification of issues includes the removal of the foil insulation or the installation of safety switches on the advice of that electrical contractor. Currently, more than 24,000 homes installed with foil insulation have been inspected. These include households that were inspected before the Foil Insulation Safety Program was implemented, by electricians who were engaged by homeowners, and the cost of this work will be reimbursed by the government. Safety is paramount to the home insulation plan that this government is delivering, and safety will continue to be paramount.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER (Hon. JE Moylan)—Order! The discussion is now concluded.