Environment Department officials reporting to Minister Peter Garrett have the opportunity today to publicly detail all documents and advice given in relation to the Government’s disastrous home insulation program, Senator Simon Birmingham said today.
Senior officials from the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts will this morning appear before the Senate inquiry into the now scrapped program at a hearing in Canberra.
“We look forward to the Department answering questions about what they knew, what their Minister, Mr Garrett, knew, what they advised him and what his actions were in response,” Senator Birmingham, who is taking part in the Senate committee inquiry, said today.
“Mr Garrett’s abandonment of this program on Friday in no way reduces the significance of getting to the bottom of what he was told and when, and why he persisted with a program now linked to at least four deaths and more than 80 fires.
“The departmental officials appearing this morning must do so willing to release all information necessary for us to establish exactly how many times Mr Garrett was warned of risks both to homeowners and installers, when he was warned and what action he took.
“With this in mind, we are hopeful that Mr Garrett will have instructed them to release all advice provided to him about the many warnings surrounding the program’s risks and failings.
“Mr Garrett’s scrapping of his insulation program does not absolve him of his responsibilities in relation to it.”
More information in relation to the inquiry, including today’s hearing program, can be found on the Senate committee’s website at http://www.aph.gov.au/senate/committee/eca_ctte/eehp/index.htm