Monday, 22 February 2010
Questions without Notice
Home Insulation Program
My question is to the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts. Given that at least 93 house fires have now been directly attributed to the faulty installation of roof insulation through the minister’s failed home insulation scheme and, Minister, given your own department’s admission last Friday that up to 240,000 homes have either unsafe or substandard insulation installed, what specific arrangements have been implemented to ensure the completion of proper safety inspections on the nearly one million homes that are currently at risk? When will the inspections be completed, Minister, for the nearly one million Australian households, many of whom cannot sleep for worry that they have a fire hazard within their roof?
I am advised that there are 87 identified risks in relation to fire under this program, but I will go on to say that the announcement that I made today in relation to the Renewable Energy Bonus Scheme and this program as it transitions made clear that a number of factors will be taken into account in relation to the assessment process as it pertains to those who are installing insulation under the scheme from June of next year. In relation to the existing program of monitoring, audit and compliance, can I advise the House—as I began to again today—of the decisions that I have taken today in relation to the rollout of an amplified audit, risk and compliance program under the existing audit and compliance measures that the department has in place. We will accelerate and amplify that audit and risk assessment. It will be done initially to capture some 15 per cent of those targeted homes, and it begins, as a matter of course, on top of the existing program of audit compliance that is already underway.