Cleaning up the Gillard Government’s insulation disasters has so far cost Australian taxpayers $98 million with the meter still running.
The mounting cost of inspections and related rectification work was revealed this evening by departmental officials in Senate Supplementary Budget Estimates under questioning from Senator Simon Birmingham, Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment.
Officials have revealed payments now totalling $98 million have or are being made to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) for work so far undertaken or booked, cleaning up the mess of a $2.8 billion program involving more than 1.1 million homes.
PwC is managing the Government’s clean up contract and passing on payments to electricians and other contractors for work on the ground.
“The cost so far of cleaning up the Government’s insulation mess, already nearing the unwanted $100 million mark, makes it clear that the bill will run into the hundreds of millions of dollars,” Senator Birmingham said today.
It follows Government Ministers earlier today revealing that less than half of the more than 200,000 planned inspections had been completed under the two safety programs – just 55,000 of a minimum 150,000 non-foil installation inspections under the Home Insulation Safety Program (HISP), and 40,000 of the more than 50,000 under the Foil Insulation Safety Program (FISP).
However, the Gillard Government has avoided revealing the true horror of its insulation mess, preferring to send safety results so far to a private consultancy and CSIRO to review rather than face scrutiny in Senate Estimates.
“With $98 million of taxpayers’ money already spent on less than half the planned safety checks, and findings so bad the Government isn’t letting them see the light of day, taxpayers have been left to speculate about the final bill they’ll be footing.”