The report of the Royal Commission into the Home Insulation Program (HIP) says the scheme was poorly planned and poorly implemented.
The report by Ian Hanger, released today, says the causes of the problems were “multifactorial” and “it is not possible to isolate one error or failure”.
The report concludes that there were “seven significant failings in the design and implementation of HIP”. These included:
- Conflict or tension between the two aims of the program to insulate 2.2 million homes and to stimulate the economy.
- The Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts was ill-equipped to deal with the size and complexity of the HIP.
- A failure by the Australian Government, until very late in the HIP, to identify and manage the risk to installers of injury and death.
- Permitting a produce to be used under the HIP that was manifestly unsuitable and dangerous.
- A decision to relax training and competency requirements for insulation training.
- A robust audit and compliance regime was not operational until after the first fatality.
- The Australian Government’s reliance on the States, Territories and employers to regulate, monitor, police and enforce occupational health and safety arrangements.
The report says the Home Insulation Program not only had an effect on the families of the young men killed: “It also wreaked havoc on pre-existing insulation installation businesses, particularly when the HIP was suspended on 19 February 2010, essentially without warning.”
It also says: “It ought also to have been obvious to any competent administration that the injection of a large amount of money into an industry that was largely ‘unregulated’ would carry with it the risk of rorting and other unscrupulous behaviour.”
- Download the Royal Commission Report (PDF)
- Listen to Shadow Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus comment (9m)