Damning new information on the Rudd Government’s disastrous home insulation program shows the Government was ignoring its own warnings, including of possible deaths, Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Action Simon Birmingham said today.
The bungled $2.5 billion scheme left an estimated 240,000 homes with dangerous or sub-standard insulation and has been linked with more than 100 house fires and four deaths.
Updated risk registers have now been released* through a Senate inquiry, in response to a question from Senator Birmingham, and show that risks were identified as ‘high’ even once ‘risk treatments’ had been carried out to address them.
“It’s important to understand that while consultants Minter Ellison provided the initial risk register, the updated registers were being done by the Government’s own departmental officials reporting ultimately to their Ministers,” Senator Birmingham said today.
“These updates show the Government itself recognised as early as July that even after taking measures to reduce what were ‘extreme’ risks, the risks were ‘high’ of poor quality installations with ‘injury or death’ among the possible consequences.
“Similarly, the Government itself recognised as early as July that even taking its ‘risk treatment’ measures would leave a high risk of fraud against the Commonwealth, thanks to inadequate systems.
“It is beyond belief that the Rudd Government could be warning itself day after day about the high risks associated with its program, yet be charging ahead months later never asking if there was a better way to achieve its desired outcomes.
“The release of these Government-updated risk registers only adds weight to the argument for Mr Garrett to either resign from the Ministry let alone Cabinet, or be sacked once and for all.
“The release of these Government-updated risk registers only underlines why calls for a full judicial inquiry or a Royal Commission into this disastrous episode are warranted.”
*The risk registers can be found online at http://www.aph.gov.au/senate/committee/eca_ctte/eehp/submissions.htm under “Answers to Questions on Notice” within number 28 (received 5 May) see SI QON28 and attachments.
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