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Wednesday, 29 September 2010
Page: 189

Mr TRUSS (3:15 PM) —Mr Speaker, my question is to the Prime Minister. I refer her to the case of my constituent Mr Rick Walker, whose house in Tiaro was burnt down just two hours after insulation was installed in his roof under the government’s home insulation scheme. Mr Walker did not have insurance and his partner and six children have lost everything. Will the government pay compensation to Mr Walker and will the government now establish a royal commission into its failed insulation scheme?

Ms GILLARD (Prime Minister) —Can I say to the member who has raised the question that I accept what he has said in the parliament in relation to an individual matter involving a constituent, but I would obviously want to talk to him about some further details, particularly information about the family involved and the circumstances of the fire. If he wants to give me additional information about that then I will be happy to look at it.

More generally, as the member opposite would be aware—I have said this publicly; I have said it in this parliament before; indeed I think I had occasion to say it in question time the first day that I was Prime Minister—I acknowledge and the government acknowledges that the Home Insulation Program was beset by problems. It became a mess. That is why we brought it to a conclusion. That is why we have the inspection program, which is rolling out, and that is why the relevant minister has been overseeing arrangements, including arrangements dealing with businesses that were entitled to compensation under the scheme that we set up. This has been well known for a long period of time now. As the member would be aware, these matters are being looked into by the Auditor-General, for example, so there is an appropriate inquiry looking at the program which is now closed. Can I reiterate that if the member wants to give me details of the individual constituent matter then I will be more than happy to look at that matter.