Nothing less than a Royal Commission is needed into the Rudd/Gillard Government’s disastrous Home Insulation Program, according to a damning Senate inquiry report released today*.
Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Action Simon Birmingham moved for and participated in the Senate’s inquiry into the Energy Efficient Homes Package, a key measure of which was the failed Home Insulation Program (HIP).
“The inquiry heard enough evidence to make some damning findings and recommendations, but was blocked at every turn by a secretive Government refusing to release key documents and with Ministers refusing to appear or give evidence,” Senator Birmingham said today.
“Only a Royal Commission can overcome these obstacles.”
The Senate committee’s recommendations include: 
  • That a Royal Commission be held into the Home Insulation Program to investigate the development and implementation of the Program… 
  • The government must inspect every home which had insulation installed under the Home Insulation Program for fire and safety risks.
  • The government must pursue, finalise and publicly account for every case of fraud under the Home Insulation Program. 
Key findings of the committee include: 
  • … then Prime Minister, the Hon Kevin Rudd, then Deputy Prime Minister Gillard … and … Senator Arbib … bear significant responsibility for the consequences of the HIP, particularly due to their apparent role in placing speed of delivery before the safety of implementation. 
  • … the incidence of fraud and abuse was a predictable outcome of a program which encouraged an influx of new businesses into a small and largely unregulated industry, and was designed in a manner open to profiteering… 
  • Overall the committee is of the view that the program has been a breathtaking and disastrous waste of more than a billion dollars of tax-payer’s money which has had devastating consequences for many honest and hard-working Australian families.