The Senate has today insisted on the release of review findings into the Rudd Government’s bungled Green Loans program that have been kept secret for weeks.
Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Action Simon Birmingham has welcomed the Senate’s decision to support his motion*, moved on behalf of the Coalition, for the tabling of independent review reports into the grossly mismanaged program.
The failed Green Loans program has left 100,000 Australians unable to access the promised loans, and thousands of assessors out of work.
Energy Efficiency Minister Penny Wong was handed the Green Loans mess after it was stripped from Peter Garrett, and has indicated she would consider review findings before finalising additional assessor contracts.
“The Rudd Government has incompetently overseen the training of thousands more assessors than it needs,” Senator Birmingham said today.
“These assessors have invested significant time and money in good faith to play their part in the Government’s environmental sustainability programs, with many now contacting me or my colleagues desperate to know if they’ll actually have a job.
“Having declared that at least one of these reviews will underpin her decisions on contracts as she keeps these people’s lives on hold, Senator Wong should at the very least have voluntarily made these review findings public.
“However, Senator Wong has not yet even had the decency to reply to any of my correspondence to her on behalf of assessors and others hurting as a result of her Government’s complete mismanagement of the Green Loans program.
“It is now more than two months since Senator Wong confessed to a raft of problems with this program and claimed she would work quickly to rectify them, but we’re yet to see any evidence.”
*Senator Birmingham’s motion, as passed today by the Senate:
That there be laid on the table by the Minister for Climate Change, Energy Efficiency and Water, no later than noon on 13 May 2010, a copy of the following reports relating to the Green Loans program, as referred to by the Minister in her 10 March statement to the Senate (Hansard, p.1521):
a.     the audit report by PricewaterhouseCoopers into the assessor accreditation process and adherence to the Protocol for Assessor Accrediting Organisations; and
b.    the report of the independent inquiry in relation to contractual agreements and procurement processes entered into during the final design and implementation of the program.