Taxpayers are footing a multi-million dollar travel bill as part of Labor’s clean up of its disastrous $2.5 billion Home Insulation Program or ‘Pink Batts’ scheme, linked to at least four deaths and more than 200 house fires.
The Gillard Government has revealed and detailed more than $3.4 million in travel costs for flying home insulation safety inspectors around the country to conduct more than 15,000 inspections of dodgy insulation installations under its failed program.
The details were provided in response* to questions asked through Senate Estimates by Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment Simon Birmingham.
Among taxpayer funded trips were multiple instances of inspectors flying from Brisbane to Perth, Melbourne and Townsville as well as from Perth to Adelaide and also Adelaide to Perth.
This is despite the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency indicating that “generally, inspectors would not travel to an area where accredited inspectors were already present”.
“It beggars belief that Labor couldn’t find sufficient electricians or qualified inspectors in Melbourne or Perth or Townsville and had to fly dozens of inspectors from Brisbane instead,” Senator Birmingham said today.
“It’s tragic that so much taxpayer money was wasted on dodgy insulation in the first place, but it’s bordering on criminal for even more to be wasted on such an inefficient inspection program.”
*Answer to question 204 available at http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate_Committees?url=ec_ctte/estimates/supp_1112/ccee/program_1-2.pdf