Environment Minister Peter Garrett is so embarrassed at his underperforming Green Loans program that he’s now trying to distance himself from any of the program’s targets, Senator Simon Birmingham said today.
In a laughable television performance this morning, Mr Garrett also tried to blame Home Sustainability Assessors for the delays they’ve experienced in being paid.
Mr Garrett’s own 2007 election policy document contained a clear commitment:
Offer low interest Green Loans of up to $10,000 each to make 200,000 existing homes more energy and water efficient, with subsidised environmental audits and free Green Renovations packs.
“Last year’s budget saw the Green Loans target figure slashed to 75,000, of which 20,000 were to have been delivered this financial year,” Senator Birmingham said.
“Yet following revelations in Senate Budget Estimates that just 1008 Green Loans had been taken up out of 143,000 home sustainability assessments, Mr Garrett laughably tried to deny any suggestion the program had underperformed.
“I didn’t have an expectation of numbers over the life of the program…”
Peter Garrett, Sky News, 10 February 2010
“Worse still, he tried to blame delays in payments to Home Sustainability Assessors on the assessors themselves not filling out forms properly.
“… advice that came into Estimates last night from the Department said that on many occasions the forms themselves aren’t properly filled in, so we’re now providing feedback for the assessors to enable them to see a template on how the form needs to be filled in properly.”
Peter Garrett, Sky News, 10 February 2010
“Environment Department Secretary Robyn Kruk actually conceded last night that 30-day payment guidelines weren’t being met, stating:
“Our payment rate is not acceptable.”
“This latest bungling of an environmental program by Mr Garrett demonstrates that he has no control over his portfolio. Rather than rewriting history or blaming others, he should accept that the buck stops with him.”