House debates

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Questions without Notice

Home Insulation Program

2:18 pm

Photo of Greg HuntGreg Hunt (Flinders, Liberal Party, Shadow Minister for Climate Action, Environment and Heritage) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts. I refer the minister to revelations last night, which were finally confirmed by him in parliament today, that he was warned by state authorities in April last year about the dangers of using metal fasteners in the home insulation program. Given this warning in April last year, why did the minister wait until November—a delay of more than six months—before banning the use of metal fasteners?

Photo of Peter GarrettPeter Garrett (Kingsford Smith, Australian Labor Party, Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts) Share this | | Hansard source

I thank the honourable member for his question. I refer the honourable member to the answer that I gave to the question when it was asked previously in this House, and also to the statement I gave this afternoon. That statement makes it perfectly clear that, upon notice being given to me of the likely dangers posed in ceiling insulation as a consequence of the use of metal fasteners, I acted in an immediate and direct way. Having made that statement clearly here in the parliament, I refer the honourable member to it, and I conclude by saying that, when the issue of foil insulation in ceilings was directly raised with me as a minister in consideration of the safe delivery of this program, I took the necessary steps, including the banning of metal fasteners and, subsequent to that, the suspension of the program as a consequence of the advice I had received.