Sunday, October 31, 2010

Pink Batts greatest failure since WWII

THE coalition will introduce a bill calling for a full judicial inquiry into four deaths linked to the federal government's botched home insulation scheme.
An auditor-general's report, released in September, cleared then environment minister Peter Garrett of wrongdoing.

But opposition environment spokesman Greg Hunt says a full judicial inquiry is needed because the Australian National Audit Office's report was limited to investigating the department.

Mr Hunt says his motion, to be introduced when parliament resumes in mid-November, would force the government to disclose the "full failure rate" of its $2.5 billion home insulation scheme.

This would compel Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Energy Efficiency Minister Greg Combet to table figures in parliament.

Mr Hunt's private member's bill would also seek a judicial inquiry to establish if there was a link between the program and four deaths, which the auditor-general did not have the power to look into.

"This has been the greatest failure of public policy, in a single program, since the Second World War, in my view, and it must be the subject of a full judicial inquiry," he told Sky News today.

Mr Hunt said he planned to seek the support of independent MPs and an Australian Greens MP, saying he would speak to them individually during the coming fortnight.

"I don't presume their support. I will offer them a chance to have input into the substance of the bill. They will not be given a fait accompli," he said.

"I would hope that the Greens and the independents do support us. I believe that this information should be in the public ... and I do not believe there is any barrier to them supporting us."

Mr Hunt will unveil draft details tomorrow.

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