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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 1 Hansard (11 February) . . Page.. 321..


MRS DUNNE: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Minister, why has there been no interest in this matter from officials in the ACT government or from yourself or Mr Barr, given that, as the commonwealth minister said on ABC radio this morning, the regulation of this matter was a state and territory matter?

MR CORBELL: The problem with Mrs Dunne's question is that there have been no complaints to authorities about any dodgy installation. Our agencies regulate safety, they regulate occupational health and safety, they regulate building and electrical safety, they regulate consumer affairs. In relation to electrical safety and in relation to occupational health and safety practices, there have been no complaints from industry or unions representing workers in the industry of poor or dodgy installation practice. So our regulatory authorities have done what you would expect them to do, which is to warn installers and warn consumers that there is the potential for risk, and we have done that repeatedly over the last six months. But there have been no complaints received by our regulatory agencies in relation to dodgy practice.

The other point that should be made is that the ACT fair trading authorities have received seven complaints in the last seven months about high-pressure sales tactics from people trying to sell insulation. In relation to those matters, the agencies have acted appropriately and issued a warning to consumers through the media to be aware of high-pressure sales tactics and reminding consumers of their rights. I have every confidence that regulatory agencies have done their job, as we would expect them to do, and have done so consistently over the last year.

Home insulation program

MRS DUNNE: My question is to the Attorney-General. Attorney, given that you were aware of the dangers of poorly installed insulation, what actions did you take to ensure that Canberrans were protected from these dangers?

MR CORBELL: I have just answered that question, Mr Speaker, but I will go through it again for Mrs Dunne. It is not new knowledge that there are dangers associated with the improper installation of insulation. It is not a new issue. Indeed, that is why the ACT Planning and Land Authority issued an advisory in February last year about those dangers and the need for people to take care when installing insulation. What has the government done? The government, through the ACT work safety commissioner, issued an alert on 26 November last year; it issued an alert on 30 November last year; it issued a hazard alert on 27 November last year and it issued a warning to consumers on 29 January this year. That is what the ACT government has done in relation to these matters.

MR SPEAKER: Mrs Dunne, a supplementary?

MRS DUNNE: Thank you. Minister, what internal reporting procedures are used to spread messages throughout the government and the community when serious safety issues are raised within a department, given that by his own admission this morning Minister Barr did not know of his own agency's warnings?


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