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Safety inspections and rectification work related to the terminated Home Insulation Program.

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MEDIA RELEASE The Hon Peter Garrett MP Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts

PG/14 22 February 2010


Today I announce further details of the Government’s safety inspections and rectification work related to the terminated Home Insulation Program.

As outlined in my statement on Friday, the Government is prepared to check as many houses as necessary through this process.

In addition to the existing electrical safety inspection program for foil insulation, the Government will expand its pro-active and targeted, risk based audit and inspection program to 15 per cent of homes with non-foil insulation installed under Home Insulation Program which may have safety risks. This risk based audit will be extended further, if necessary, to any segments of households deemed at risk.

This expanded audit and inspection program will focus on households where there are significant concerns about safety.

Over and above this risk based audit, a hotline will be established for households that are concerned about the safety of their insulation installed under the Home Insulation Program. This hotline will be progressively rolled out from Wednesday. In the interim, householders can continue to call 1800 808 571.

Through the hotline, households will be given advice in relation to their concerns. Arrangements for on-site inspections will be made in urgent cases.

Households that have registered with the hotline will be contacted once their installer has been re-registered under the strengthened registration requirements for the new Renewable Energy Bonus Scheme. There will then be provision for households to seek, in the first instance, inspection from their installer, if the installer meets the requirements for registration under the new Renewable Energy Bonus Scheme (REBS).

Households that continue to have safety concerns, or if their original installer does not meet the strengthened requirements of the REBS, will be able to request a risk assessment through the hotline. Where this assessment shows there are significant potential risks, an on-site inspection by an accredited inspector will be arranged.

For these households, inspections will occur over time, with households inspected in priority order based on the assessed level of risk.

The factors that will be taken into account in the assessment process will include:

• the record of the installer, including any audits or inspections previously


• the location of the home;

• the age and nature of the home, any renovations and age of electrical wiring;

• electrical and other equipment installed in the roof space such as ceiling fans,

heating and stove flues, bathroom heaters and especially down lights; and

• the type and method of insulation installed.

The Department of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts will make the hotline phone number available as soon as possible. An existing hotline already exists for households who wish to make calls in the interim - 1800 808 571.

Media inquiries: Ben Pratt 0419 968 734