The Senate has today insisted on the release of correspondence to the Prime Minister about the Rudd Government’s disastrous Home Insulation Program that has been kept secret for months.
Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Action Simon Birmingham has welcomed the Senate’s decision to support his motions*, moved on behalf of the Coalition, for the tabling of letters from Minister Garrett to Prime Minister Rudd.
The letters are likely to shed more light on the Government’s awareness of the risks involved with its disastrous program, which has 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.
“Mr Rudd has claimed in the Parliament that these letters constituted cabinet-related correspondence,” Senator Birmingham said today.
“Yet answers provided to the Senate inquiry into this disastrous program show that his claim to be false in three out of four cases.
“The Prime Minister has rejected repeated calls for their release and is misusing the Cabinet-in-confidence process to protect his own hide.
“The Prime Minister has misled the Australian public on what he knew about the Home Insulation Program and that he was briefed as early as August 2009, one month into the program, and before the first casualty.
“The Prime Minister must come clean and release the letters. They are not a matter of national security and there can be no valid reason to keep them secret except to protect the PM from further embarrassment about the tragic loss of homes and billions of taxpayer dollars wasted.”
*Senator Birmingham’s motions, as passed today by the Senate:
- That there be laid on the table by the Minister for Climate Change, Energy Efficiency and Water and Minister representing the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts, no later than noon on 13 May 2010, a copy of correspondence from Minister Garrett dated 14 August, 27 August, 28 October and 30 October 2009 addressed to the Prime Minister regarding the Home Insulation Program.
- That there be laid on the table by the Minister representing the Prime Minister, no later than noon on 13 May 2010, a copy of correspondence from Minister Garrett dated 14 August, 27 August, 28 October and 30 October 2009 addressed to the Prime Minister regarding the Home Insulation Program.