Home insulation inquiry: Bureaucrat unsure if proper safety training procedures implemented

A bureaucrat charged with monitoring the home insulation scheme’s rollout cannot recall what was specifically done to ensure installers were properly trained.

Simon Cox was seconded to the co-ordinator general’s office to oversee the home insulation program being devised by federal environment department staffers.

Mr Cox told a royal commission into the troubled Rudd government scheme that while training was taken seriously, he couldn’t recall what was done to monitor its development.

Under cross-examination by Counsel Assisting Keith Wilson, Mr Cox agreed training was a fundamental component of the program but said he could not remember what he did to follow it up with the department.

“It’s still vague,” Mr Cox said of his recollection.

But Mr Cox did say he had a general sense that he and another public servant were monitoring what the environment department was doing in regards to training.

Mr Cox also told the inquiry on Tuesday that bureaucrats were relieved to learn that the National Code of Practice for the construction industry was not applicable to the home insulation scheme.

It was good news, he said, because if the code applied then the program would have come to an “immediate halt”.

This was because insulation providers would have been required to undergo checks to determine whether they complied with the code and union officials may have got involved.

“It [the code] would have been an impediment in terms of timing,” Mr Cox told the inquiry.

The royal commission before Ian Hanger QC continues.


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