Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Statement on Government action on Home Insulation Program



Download PDFDownload PDF

Media Release

Minister Mark Butler

Minister Bill Shorten

Minister Gary Gray

STATEMENT ON GOVERNMENT ACTION ON HOME INSULATION PROGRAM

The Labor Government has taken a number of key actions in response to the recent report by the Queensland State Coroner into the workplace deaths of three young men from Queensland.

The Queensland Coroner made three recommendations requiring action. Each of these is a recommendation to the Queensland State Government. The Labor Government will provide any cooperation needed to ensure these recommendations are responded to by the Queensland Government.

We know that the work of improving safety in the workplace is never over.

Minister Shorten will work with his state and territory counterparts to look at ways to achieve better cooperation where Commonwealth programs are subject to workplace health and safety regulators in other jurisdictions, including the promotion of rapid notification of workplace health and safety hazards between relevant authorities.

Additionally, Labor will improve support for families and workers to cope with the impact of a workplace death and to recover from workplace harm. Labor will establish a Fund to assist organisations with ideas for improving workplace health and safety and to provide better support to workers and their families in recovering from workplace harm or to cope with the impact of a workplace death.

Labor will make an initial investment of $1 million in the Fund to support these worthwhile projects. Eligible organisations will receive funding for projects to a maximum of $200,000. This investment will be absorbed from within Comcare’s existing resources.

The Queensland Coroner’s Report is the eighth inquiry, review, or audit into the Home Insulation Program and its implementation.

These inquiries have been extensive and have clearly identified the necessary actions to ensure tragedies like this don’t happen again.

This was acknowledged by the Queensland State Coroner in his recent report.

All recommendations of the inquiries, reviews and audits of have been closely considered by the Labor Government and appropriate actions taken.

This too was noted by the Queensland State Coroner in his report.

ACTION TAKEN BY GOVERNMENT  November 1, 2009 - banned use of metal staples and fasteners in installation,

effective November 2, 2009.  December 1, 2009 - installers required to carry out a risk assessment

beforehand.  February 9, 2010 - banned the use of foil insulation.

 February 19, 2010 - the program was closed - 20 months early.

 February 19, 2010 - established two safety programs to inspect homes and

remove insulation if needed, the Home Insulation Safety Program and the Foil Insulation Safety Program (251,681 inspections; 15,269 had foil removed).  February 19, 2010 - established the Insulation Workers Adjustment Package

($42 million provided to workers).  May 6, 2010 - established the Insulation Industry Assistance Package ($22

million provided to installers).  August 2013 - established the Comcare Innovation Fund.

INQUIRIES HELD:

The Labor Government has commissioned, assisted and responded to 8 inquiries into the program, including:  The Australian National Audit Office’s review.  The Review of the Home Insulation Program by Dr Allan Hawke (the Hawke

Report).  Insulation Advisory Panel’s report - Dr Ron Silberberg, Mr Tony Arnel and Mr Peter Tighe.  NSW Coroner’s inquest.  Queensland Coroner’s inquest.  CSIRO’s Risk profile analysis.  Booz and Company HIP completion strategy.  The Senate Standing Committee on Environment, Communications and the

Arts Inquiry.

All recommendations arising from these inquiries were considered and appropriate action taken by the relevant departments, as noted by the Queensland State Coroner, Michael Barnes, in his findings handed down on 4 July 2013.

9 AUGUST 2013

Communications Unit: T 03 8625 5111 www.alp.org.au

Authorised by G. Wright, Australian Labor, 5/9 Sydney Avenue, Barton, ACT, 2600