$180,000 of insulation left over

Michael Bailey (front) and Simon Donald now have more insulation than they know what to do with.
Michael Bailey (front) and Simon Donald now have more insulation than they know what to do with. Bruce Thomas

THE demise of the home insulation scheme has left Michael Bailey with a massive pile of stock worth $180,000.

He runs the Toormina family firm Radiance Insulation Services and says he doesn’t know what he’ll do with all that insulation now the Federal Government has axed the rebate program.

“Now I’m stuck with it but I’ll wait a bit longer because I’m hoping to get work out of the inspection program,” Mr Bailey said.

He’s had to shed staff as business has ground to a halt and what’s more, he’s still waiting for $65,000 the Government owes him for work he’s done.

What really annoyed Mr Bailey was when he admitted he’d been overpaid $400 spread over a number of rebates, bureaucrats insisted he had seven days to repay.

“This just shows what a shambles this insulation scheme has been,” said the Member for Cowper, Luke Hartsuyker.

“Instead of targeting the shonks who have fraudulently claimed millions of dollars, they want to play hard ball with an operator who has been up front and honest over a $400 overpayment.

“Reputable local insulation firms which have been in business for years have now been left high and dry and their workers are facing unemployment.

“I have no time for those firms which were responsible for gross negligence and fraud by failing to safely install insulation or deliver the goods in the first place.

“However, reputable firms which have been in the insulation business for years and have not ripped off the taxpayer are now facing ruin.”

Mr Hartsuyker said the government’s decision to axe the program, which had been due to re-start in June, showed Prime Minister Kevin Rudd had misled to insulation firms when he met some of them outside Parliament House earlier this year.

“After four deaths, 120 houses burnt down and with more than 240,000 homes at risk because of suspect installations, the Prime Minister promised to fix the insulation scheme,” he said.

“(Last week) he walked away from that commitment.”

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