Home > Australian politics > Dead horse being flogged mercilessly

Dead horse being flogged mercilessly

Being the Party of No and basically devoid of any ideas at all, the Opposition is now setting the way-back machine to last year and trying to re-ignite the Home Insulation Program brouhaha.

Of course, they have the media onside (who are always looking for a good beat-up) and the wingnutosphere is ramping up on the intertubes, but do they seriously think they will get traction with this again?

Without having precise figures to hand, during the 9-10 months of the HIP over a million homes had insulation installed.  Of course the program was one of the prongs of the stimulus package, being a quick injection of capital into a rapid start industry.  As well as creating employment in this sphere, it had the added benefit of the insulation providing energy savings to the consumer.

All well and good so far.  The insulation industry at this time was unregulated, so regulations were created and away it went.  Of course, with any opportunity to make quick money from the government along come the shonks and fly-by-nighters.

Now the right whingers will tell you that the government should have been in control and stamped out these shonks, but are they seriously kidding themselves?  For people who claim to be all about “small government”, they basically want the government to regulate against human nature?  The hypocrisy astounds.

The fact of the matter is that the Federal government merely provided funding and added some regulations to a previously unregulated industry.  It was the responsibility of the various State governments to monitor the practices of the installers.  It was certainly not the responsibility of the Federal government for the sad deaths of the 4 installers.

Then we get on to the fire beat ups.  One of the regulations applied was the banning of use of metal staples when installing the foil insulation.  When one of the deaths occurred because they shonk was using the banned staples, this is the government’s fault again?  Did they think the Minister should be in the roof with them checking each staple used to make sure it was a plastic one?

The fact is that the majority of the fires caused that have been tied to the HIP are due to faulty wiring which was not discovered previously.  Apart from the foil stuff, by its very nature insulation is not flammable so it’s not likely to increase the risk of a fire.  The only way I can see that this can occur is if insulation has been placed directly on downlights, where the heat generated will cause the wiring cover to melt and burn, causing the fire.

After numerous reports on the program and some ongoing inquests into the deaths, it has come out that the program achieved what it set out to do…provide quick stimulus to the economy and improve the energy efficiency for the houses that received it.

Inquests into the first deaths of installers have sheeted the blame home squarely to the operators themselves, which even a gram of common sense would indicate is the correct results.

Along with their sad pretence that the BER was a debacle with a 97% success rate, the Opposition is yet again on a hiding to nothing.  And where is Tony while his front bench meat puppets are opening their mouths and expelling gases…probably off on his bike or swimming a few laps in preparation for his next triathlon.  All this policy stuff just bores him, but he still wants to be Prime Minister…funny huh?

  1. Bilko
    November 2, 2010 at 2:50 PM

    well sprayed I commented way back that Kevin should not have dumped Garrett nor apologised on insiders but in fact shafted the blame at the perpetrators and had them prosecuted quick smart. It gave Abbott his first sweet smell of success, good name for a movie, and the rest is history and where we find ourselves to day. I hope Julia learns from all of this and acts accordingly.

    • November 2, 2010 at 3:06 PM

      I don’t get it either Bilko…they are so obviously in the right, yet appear to be scared of Limited News’ clout. They should be ripping into them with all their might for telling lies…and that’s exactly what they have been doing. There’s no wiggle room for things like balance…its out and out lies.
      They should come up with some snappy lines with the figures; 97% approval on BER, 1 million homes insulated, x% less fires since HIP started.
      Their media advisers need a solid kick up the arse.

  2. Bilko
    November 2, 2010 at 9:18 PM

    Spray that was another winge of mine re the PR team in Kevin’s office needing a swift kick, not much has changed hopefully after chrissie and all the pollies and advisers can stand back take a deep breath and get their collective acts together.

  3. Catching up
    November 2, 2010 at 9:35 PM

    No matter what evidence is put forwarded with BER, the Opposition will never change their minds. They have put themselves out on a limb and have nowhere to go.

    They are heading down the same path with the insulation accusations. I believe that the government would have nothing to lose with a judicial investigation into the four deaths. The legal action taken so far puts the blame on the employers of these men.

    Senate hearings are another matter I have no faith in them at all. I am of the belief that the Opposition uses Senate Hearings as a political tool. If no one believes this, I suggest that they listen to any Senate Hearing on the net.

    I am sure they will not be impressed with the type of questioning that occurs. I understand that there will be coronial enquiries into these deaths and any fires that have occurred. In normal times, this should all that is needed, but if the Opposition insists, let us waste more money on a useless and unnecessary enquiry.

  4. November 3, 2010 at 5:19 PM

    Hello Massive. Could you please email me. Migs.

    • November 4, 2010 at 8:52 AM

      Done…I hope I got the address right.

  5. November 4, 2010 at 3:31 PM

    I guess I’ll find out when I get home. 🙂

  6. November 4, 2010 at 5:15 PM

    Didn’t arrive, Massive. Go to this website and all will be revealed:


  7. Pip
    November 4, 2010 at 10:56 PM

    Hi MS, there was a report a few weeks ago about the first Court case in Qld. about a death by electrocution in the insulation saga.


    I’m surprised that it made the papers at all !!

    • November 5, 2010 at 8:46 AM

      How far back did they bury it Pip? I vaguely recall something as well…they kept it extremely low profile.

  8. nasking
    November 5, 2010 at 4:43 PM

    Good stuff Massive.

    Imagine if there had been fullbore media investigations into the effect of private rebates under Howard/Abbott that led to doctors & nurses bein’ sucked out of public healthcare & hospitals. And cuttin’ trainin’ places.

    If you focus on any scheme in detail you can find problems. Murdoch’s lot prefer to focus intensely on those comin’ from the party least likely to give the tax cuts & everythin’ else Rupert wants.


  9. November 5, 2010 at 6:20 PM

    I did get your email Massive. It went into the junk mail folder for some reason.

    • November 8, 2010 at 9:34 AM

      Thanks Migs…just what I wanted to hear.
      It’s like the slamming I got from Walrus and YomM on the Gutter pervades all…but then a slamming from them is pretty much like praise from a normal person isn’t it?

  10. Tom of Melbourne
    November 8, 2010 at 9:51 PM

    If that was a slamming, you need to toughen up son.

    • November 9, 2010 at 9:00 AM

      YomM, I forgot the quotes around “slamming”.

      There’s no need to toughen up WRT your commenting…it’s like being flogged with al dente spaghetti.

  1. February 14, 2011 at 4:54 PM

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