· Kevin Rudd and Peter Garrett went to the last election promising to:
“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.” (Election 07 Policy Document: Solar Schools Solar Homes)
· In the 2009 Budget Labor quietly downsized their promise, from providing 200,000 Green Loans to instead providing 75,000 Green Loans:
o This represented a 62.5% cut to the number of promised loans.
o And was a cut to the program budget of $125.7 million. (2009-10 Budget Paper No.2, p196)
· The 75,000 loans were planned to be provided over the following years:
o 20,000 in 2009/10
o 20,000 in 2010/11
o 20,000 in 2011/12
o 15,000 in 2012/13 (Senate ECA Estimates, 20/10/09, p154)
· More than 7 months into this financial year Peter Garrett and the Rudd Government have managed to deliver just 1,008 of the 20,000 budgeted loans, let alone the 200,000 they originally promised voters in 2007. (Senate ECA Estimates, 9/2/10, p82)
· In his 8 May 2009 media release Peter Garrett said there would be “1,000 home sustainability assessors”:
o On 20 August 2009 the Secretary of the Environment Department told the Australian Economic Forum that the program would be delivered through “training 1,000 home sustainability assessors to undertake 360,000 audits”.
· Instead of training 1,000 assessors, as promised, Peter Garrett and the Rudd Government have trained 3,648 assessors, without ever announcing their intention to increase this number. (Senate ECA Estimates, 9/2/10, p96)
· Little wonder then that Peter Garrett’s mismanagement has created a crisis for assessors:
o There’s not enough work to go round for them all.
o The Government system used by assessors to book home audits has seen assessors waiting hours on the phone to lodge their bookings.
o The company Fieldforce struck a special deal with the Government, by-passing the delays in the booking system, meaning they have obtained 30% of all home audits, despite having just 11% of assessors.
o Fieldforce’s special deal has further hurt thousands of other assessors who have invested in time & training to find themselves the victims of Peter Garrett’s mismanagement. (Senate ECA Estimates, 9/2/10, p101)
· Even the handful of people who have taken out Green Loans have missed out on the promised benefits:
o Peter Garrett has been writing to each successful applicant saying that “to help you get started, my Department will shortly be sending you a $50 Green Reward Card which you can redeem at selected retail outlets to purchase eligible energy or water saving devices”.
o Despite sending the first of these letters 6 or 7 months ago, not one person has received the $50 Reward Card.
o In fact arrangements with retailers haven’t even been put in place to produce them, let alone use them. (Senate ECA Estimates, 9/2/10, p98)
· Even the most basic aspects of this program have been mismanaged, with departmental officials unable to tell Senators at estimates even whether or not assessors were allowed to engage in cold canvassing. (Senate ECA Estimates, 9/2/10, p105)
· This program has largely been undercut by other policy decisions of the Government, in particular their Pink Batts & Solar Hot Water Schemes:
o Who’s going to take out a loan when the Government is going to effectively insulate their home for nothing?
o Who’s going to take out a loan when the Government will largely pay for the installation of a Solar Hot Water system?
o These decisions are a demonstration that even within the same portfolio, with the same Minister, one hand of the Government has no understanding of what the other hand of Government is actually doing, or the impacts they have on each other.
· Green Loans join the Home Insulation Program, Solar Homes and Japanese whaling as examples of the monumental disregard of election promises and monumental cases of mismanagement by Peter Garrett and the Rudd Government.