Friday, February 12, 2010

All in the name of economic progress and power!‏

Media report: Garrett 'knew of insulation death risk for months'

When the senate investigations committee authorised this ill-conceived economic "stimulus" policy of installing millions of homes in the country with insulation batts and foil, my information is that the Minister in charge, Peter Garrett, had been warned up to 13 times: that this legislation would be fraught with danger and the possibility of encouraging dishonest operators. The established professionals in the insulation industry were obviously ignored as they were more than likely seen by the government as having a self-preservation agenda, that is, not wanting to allow back-yard operations to spring up overnight and take their business.

The installation of quality and safe commercial and domestic insulation is not a business that can be guaranteed as being done correctly by anyone less than a seasoned professional -- and as a result, fires have occurred, dumping of discarded material in suburbs and bushlands and unfortunately to date, the death of four young inexperienced installers.

To say that Minister Garrett is directly responsible would be a very unfair assessment but it was within his power to assure that all the correct regulations about training were followed without fail and that opportunists did not exploit the cash cow that the government was offering. I believe there have been no less than 300 of these operators shut down since the scheme started in June last year and if this isn't a clear indication that the correct model of regulation, approval and monitoring of these installers was not carried out correctly by the departments concerned, then I don't know what is.

The loss of life is absolutely the most regrettable result of this mismanaged policy and to be fair again to Minister Garrett and Prime minister Rudd, they would of course have done things differently in hindsight.

Peter Garrett is no doubt now understanding the reality that there is far more to successful politics than chest beating and following one's own agenda. He should resign immediately and Rudd should be asking for that resignation today. Alas, I see no such honour and admission of error coming from either man as they continue to push this failed experiment and whistle past the cemetery. This is just another example of unprepared and ill-conceived policy on the run by this Federal Labor Government.

Garrett should pull out and put on the old "SHAME" t-shirt and Rudd should sit next to him with his "SORRY" one on.

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