Alleged Climate Policy Related Deaths: Former Aussie PM to Sue

Former Aussie PM Kevin Rudd
Former Aussie PM Kevin Rudd. By Australian_Foreign_Minister_Kevin_Rudd_with_Foreign_Minister_Utoni_Nujoma_of_Namibia.jpg: Department of Foreign Affairs and Tradederivative work: 99of9 – This file was derived from  Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd with Foreign Minister Utoni Nujoma of Namibia.jpg: , CC BY 3.0 au, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=28236244

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Former Aussie PM Kevin Rudd has announced he will sue the government owned Australian Broadcasting Corporation, over accusations he ignored safety warnings about his green home insulation initiative.

Kevin Rudd suing ABC over home insulation report in Cabinet Files

Allegation he ignored warnings of risks to safety of installers ‘is a lie’, former PM says

The former prime minister Kevin Rudd is suing the ABC over a report that claimed he was warned of “critical risks” of his government’s home insulation program before the deaths of four young installers in 2010.

The ABC reported on Wednesday that Rudd and the senior Labor MPs Julia Gillard, Wayne Swan and Lindsay Tanner were warned in a report to cabinet in 2009 that their national rollout of subsidised home insulation – part of an economic stimulus package – faced “critical risks”. The report emphasised it was unclear if “critical risks” referred to safety concerns.

The report was part of a series of the stories the ABC has dubbed the Cabinet Files, related to thousands of top-secret and highly classified cabinet documents found in two locked filing cabinets sold at an ex-government sale in Canberra.

On Wednesday the ABC reported that Rudd had told a royal commission into the home insulation program, in 2014, that the insulation program would have been delayed if cabinet had been warned of the safety risks.

“Right through until February 2010 … each of the monthly reports said that the Energy Efficiency program of the government was on track,” Rudd told the royal commission, as reported by the ABC.

Rudd was quoted in the ABC’s story rejecting any assertion that he was warned of the safety risks to installers, or failed to act on such warnings, before the deaths of the young men in 2010.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/feb/01/kevin-rudd-suing-abc-over-home-insulation-report-in-cabinet-files

ABC reports that ASIO, Australia’s version of the FBI, entered their offices this morning in search of the confidential files which allegedly contained the information on which the accusations were based.

In 2016 Kevin Rudd unsuccessfully applied for the post of United Nations Secretary General. Despite Kevin Rudd’s solid track record of support for green policies, Rudd’s candidacy was greeted with horror by some greens and globalists, though WUWT supported his candidacy.

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February 1, 2018 12:30 am

Australian Federal Police are the equivalent of the FBI. ASIO is equivalent to Homeland Security or the anti-terrorism section of the FBI.

Old44
Reply to  cloa5132013
February 1, 2018 3:31 am

The AFP is the equivalent of Ronald McDonald.

Paul r
February 1, 2018 12:30 am

It’s a toss up between Gillard and Rudd at who was the worst prime minister australia ever had. I can’t split them.

Stephen Richards
Reply to  Paul r
February 1, 2018 12:48 am

Turncoat? He is going dizzy with his about turns, isn’t he?

Komrade Kuma
Reply to  Paul r
February 1, 2018 3:04 am

You are right Pr, its a two donkey race and a brain dead heat. Evan KRudd and Juliar Dillard, what a pair. A pair of self promoting narcissists of the lowest political calibre, stabbed each other in the back to get the top job. SO bad that Tony Abbott was the solution…. groan… what an awful, awful decade. That said KRudds “Pink Batts Fisaco” is the epitome of nutjob feel good policy on the run implementsed by imbeciles although Juliar’s Useless School Halls Program was a doozy too. Halls and COLAs (Covered Outdoor Learning Area) built for schools that were then closed down by State Governments. But hey, the dirtbag fringe of the pop up contractors made a motza.

Another Ian
Reply to  Komrade Kuma
February 1, 2018 1:03 pm

Schemes like these can be described by the term “Political enthusiasms” – with an inverse relation to wisdom

Editor
Reply to  Paul r
February 1, 2018 11:00 am

But this isn’t about who was the worst prime minister, and it isn’t about whether you like or hate Kevin Rudd. This is about Kevin Rudd being accused by the ABC of recklessly disregarding people’s safety. It certainly looks like the ABC have pulled a fast one. Even though “The report emphasised it was unclear if “critical risks” referred to safety concerns“, the ABC managed to link the “critical risks” to “the deaths of four young installers in 2010“. It looks to me like the ABC has been reckless with their report and deserve to be called out on it.

lee
February 1, 2018 12:31 am

“Second, the risks referred to in the cabinet document used in the ABC report refer to financial and administrative risks to the program for the commonwealth, not safety risks to workers.”
So the Department of Environment was providing financial advice to his government, rather than Treasury. I think I know what went wrong.

Komrade Kuma
Reply to  lee
February 1, 2018 4:06 am

You reckon 4 young guys dying and hundreds of houses catching fire, thousands of scam claims for installations never done or even actually offered to home owners, many millions of dollars of imported insulation brought in while large locally made stockpiles of same sat in warehouses and their owners went broke (i.e. firms that had been in the industry for decades who got shivved in the back by scumbag opportunists rorting a moronic scheme is not an ‘administrative risk of the program to the Commonweatlth”?
Sounds like Bureaucratspeak to me or KRudd / Dillard speak. (KRudd was a notoriously petulant bureacrat before entering politics.

lee
Reply to  Komrade Kuma
February 1, 2018 4:31 am

The administrative risk is the risk the government takes in administering the project. That would seem to include safety, the use of professional installers, any training that would need to be done. It might even go so far as to say there could be a financial risk in the event of failure to adhere to safety standards. But that would be far short of advice.

lee
Reply to  Komrade Kuma
February 1, 2018 4:38 am

Then what were the “critical risks” of which he was told.

lewispbuckingham
February 1, 2018 12:34 am

Its hard to believe Kevin Rudd would send anyone to their death.
The purpose of the pink batt scheme was to stimulate the economy.
At the time Chinese batts flooded the country and local higher quality batts were snapped up, meaning builders with fixed contracts could not finish cottages with high quality product, as the new installers snapped up all product.
It would be surprising that safety would be discussed at cabinet level.
Were cabinet to build an airport, or buy aircraft the financial risks and benefits would be worked on as well as the political capital.
The pity is he will probably have a good case, we taxpayers will pay the damages, and the ABC will still fail
to provide balance in news and comment.

Patrick MJD
February 1, 2018 12:45 am

Rudderless is such a prat I hope he gets laughed out of court.

LdB
Reply to  Patrick MJD
February 4, 2018 7:54 pm

Whats even stranger is how do you argue when the publication was based on a cabinet document, what you try and deny the document exists?

Patrick MJD
February 1, 2018 12:48 am

“The report was part of a series of the stories the ABC has dubbed the Cabinet Files, related to thousands of top-secret and highly classified cabinet documents found in two locked filing cabinets sold at an ex-government sale in Canberra.”
I would suggest that that filling cabinet was “deliberately” placed in the shop it was found in.

a happy little debunker
Reply to  Patrick MJD
February 1, 2018 1:15 am

Call me a conspiracist, but one person clearly served as a stand out under all 4 administrations that these files encompass.
These ‘filing cabinets’ have also come from the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, as acknowledged.
That person is the current head of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, who served all 4 administrations – despite being despised by conservatives and loved by progressives (including our current PM).
He has also been tasked to uncover how these ‘filing cabinets’ fell into the public domain.
Foxes guarding the henhouse!

Sommer
Reply to  Patrick MJD
February 1, 2018 9:48 am
Stephen Richards
February 1, 2018 12:49 am

What was in the insulation that killed these poor lads?

lee
Reply to  Stephen Richards
February 1, 2018 1:00 am

Staples through power wiring.

Hugs
Reply to  lee
February 1, 2018 3:34 am

The insulation business could be doing unnecessary stuff via illegal methods, but that is not a prime minister’s fault in case of four incidents.

lee
Reply to  lee
February 1, 2018 4:41 am

As the Government was paying the bill, I would argue they had a duty of care to at least address safety issues.

glen Michel
Reply to  lee
February 1, 2018 3:03 pm

Hyperthermia.

LdB
Reply to  lee
February 4, 2018 7:57 pm

They rushed the scheme implementation and there was no planning or consideration put into requiring training or OHS for installers. Lots of start up companies quickly appeared to take advantage of what was essentially unskilled work with no training and deaths occurred.
What the document essential says is he was warned about it and chose to ignore the warning.

Reply to  Stephen Richards
February 1, 2018 1:03 am

Two of the people who died, Matthew Fuller and Mitchell Sweeney, were electrocuted as a result of putting a metal staple through an electrical cable, which then made the foil insulation they were working on electrically live.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/business-spectator/lessons-from-insulation-deaths/news-story/258fb15526ba6175250fb630d8967259

Adam Gallon
February 1, 2018 1:16 am

“But the plans were on display…”
“On display? I eventually had to go down to the cellar to find them.”
“That’s the display department.”
“With a flashlight.”
“Ah, well, the lights had probably gone.”
“So had the stairs.”
“But look, you found the notice, didn’t you?”
“Yes,” said Arthur, “yes I did. It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying ‘Beware of the Leopard.”

Rob
February 1, 2018 1:30 am

Oh my god.
That nearly gave me a heart attack.
Kevin Rudds’ Face on the top of the web page.
Please, don’t do that again.

AndyG55
February 1, 2018 1:46 am

Pretty sure that basically EVERYONE in Australia either has forgotten KR even existed, or considers him to be a total NON-ENTITY. (maybe Nick still has a crush)
He is nothing but a piece of flotsam at a sewage treatment plant.

Cloudbase
February 1, 2018 2:25 am

For those non-Australians who haven’t heard of this toad…he is an ex Labor (Aussie left wing party) PM with a long trail of stench following him around right back to his days as part of the Queensland state government. He was involved in a governmental coverup of the rape of a 14 year old Aboriginal girl in state care….known as the Heiner Affair.
The guy was elected solely due to his seeming charisma but once in the position
of Prime Minister it became obvious he has mental issues and was soon dumped by his own party….unfortunately and amazingly replace by someone even worst…Juliar Gillard.
The world dodged a bullet when he tried on vain to get himself nominated to the UN.
People in this video are being very polite about him. 😜
https://youtu.be/u-5RgFe9OX4

J.H.
February 1, 2018 3:53 am

Peter Garrett was warned and thus Kevin Rudd was warned….. even New Zealand warned Peter Garrett from going down this policy track as their own NZ failed policies indicated that this type of policy was dangerous.
The real villain in this is actually Peter Garrett. It was he who was ultimately responsible for the deaths of those men. Just as James Hardy industries were responsible for asbestos deaths, Peter Garrett was the minister in charge of the policy that caused these insulation related deaths, thus it is he who is responsible.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  J.H.
February 1, 2018 9:43 pm

It’s funny how Garrett rarely, if at all, registered to vote then went on to be a minister.

commieBob
February 1, 2018 3:56 am

This is the stupidest thing I have ever (ok, just this morning) heard.

… four males (aged 16 to 25 years)[1] who worked as home insulation installers, died in four separate incidents between October 2009 and February 2010. Two workers died as a result of electrocution installing foil lined insulation; one worker was electrocuted installing fibreglass “pink batts” (all three in Queensland);[2] and one worker died from hyperthermia, … link

The fault is with contractors who did not properly train their workers, or ensure that they were properly trained.
I assume that Australian houses are wired in a pretty standard manner. There should be no exposed voltages. How these guys could get electrocuted is beyond me. What were they doing; cutting wires or something?
Every workplace has hazards. If we wanted to prevent all workplace deaths, we would have to forbid work. Of course the economy would collapse and everyone would starve to death. The correct approach is to ensure that workers have safe workplaces and that they work in a safe manner. Cheapskate yahoo stupid employers who get people injured should go to jail.
Saying that the cabinet should have been forewarned of workplace hazards is just stupid. Workplace hazards are routine and can be dealt with. They aren’t some kind of “special” condition.
This whole thing smacks of weapons grade stupidity. There are politicians involved so, yeah, no surprise. I’m disgusted.

Reply to  commieBob
February 1, 2018 4:47 am

They were forewarned. I and several other people I know in the construction industry tried to prevent this scheme being rushed into effect. We warned about the safety issues, particularly with old wiring, houses with old ceramic fuses rather than modern instantaneous jumpers, excessive heat in confined roof spaces, especially up here in the tropics. We also warned that for many conventional dwellings the placement of insulation would actually make the internal spaces hotter rather than cooler. Older uninsulated “free run” structures might heat up to outside temperature during the day, but rapidly cool off after sunset. In some cases the Insulation can slow the heat loss down to the extent that the excess heat is retained into the following day.
A few years ago Rudd received the Golden Fleece Award from carbon-sense.com. This was awarded to the politician who managed to fleece the greatest amount of money out of the public purse for the least effect, which in Rudd’s case was to do with pilot work for CCS (carbon capture & storage). Can’t remember how much was spent on meetings, travel, munchies etc but absolutely nothing was ever produced.
I guess the Golden Fleece Award has not been continued, presumably because the amounts being fleeced have increased by several orders of magnitude,and the perpetrators have multiplied in proportion.

Reply to  martinc19
February 1, 2018 4:59 am

I suppose I’d better try to dig out the evidence that I predicted this disaster. It predates the Windows 10 crashes so that might be difficult. Anyway, here’s another court case that readers might be able to assist with:
Support Professor Peter Ridd’s case in the Federal Circuit Court to ensure his right to argue for scientific integrity:
https://www.gofundme.com/peter-ridd-legal-action-fund
IPA’s media release:
https://ipa.org.au/ipa-today/professor-peter-ridd-standing-scientific-integrity-james-cook-university
2-minute video on the case here:
https://www.facebook.com/Inst.ofPublicAffairs/videos/10157103388173858/
Ridd is an academic at James Cook University, the most famous academic of which is the late Dr Robert Carter, and is under threat for similar reasons.
(As an alumnus of this organisation, I am puzzled as to why it is still named after a grumpy old white colonialist.)

paqyfelyc
Reply to  martinc19
February 1, 2018 6:38 am

James Cook… Isn’t he the guy who got turned into meal? I guess this would exonerate him of being a “grumpy old white colonialist”

Auto
Reply to  martinc19
February 1, 2018 1:48 pm

Many years ago, my first transit north inside the Great Barrier Reef was navigated using a chart ‘Based on an original survey by Lieutenant J. Cook, R.N.’
Same chap – duly burgerised by some folk on one island he visited, on one of this three round-the-world voyages.
Which one?
Auto.

Mark from Oz
Reply to  commieBob
February 1, 2018 5:55 pm

One issue was that these businesses that tendered govt contracts were hastily put together to take advantage of the govt money. Business always see govt contracts as a way to earn more money than normal as the govt has no idea and hands out funds willy nilly. We had an LPG conversion scheme for cars where the govt rebate was $2000. The day after that came into being the LPG converters put their price up by $2000. Transfer of wealth to the business owners, and joe public gets nothing.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Mark from Oz
February 1, 2018 9:42 pm

Same with the first home buyers grant of AU$15,000. Property was suddenly AU$15,000 more expensive.

J.H.
February 1, 2018 3:57 am

That is one annoying spam filter…. I wonder what words in my comment caused it to hold it?

J.H.
February 1, 2018 4:14 am

…. Anyway, Peter Garrett was the Minister responsible for those d.e.a.t.h.s. He was the Minister in charge. He could have over ruled Rudd…. or at least dissented.

LdB
Reply to  J.H.
February 4, 2018 8:00 pm

It isn’t clear Peter Garrett had the information, you actually could end up sued if you publish that. The document only shows Rudd was aware not anyone else.

Bill
Reply to  LdB
February 5, 2018 6:21 pm

Peter Garret was completely aware of it, as was the prime fool, the radio talk back programs were endlessly harassing them about the dangers and insanity of the project….but they chose to ignore; the Unions, the electricians who said this would happen and that they would not go into these roofs, the public outcry, the many houses that burned down during this fiasco due to the faulty bat installations.
Then, after the inevitable deaths the dumbass in chief ordered the bats taken back out. You will be amused to know there were many reports of people turning up to remove non-existent bats…that someone had claimed as a job done. One guy I heard on radio had someone turn up to remove his bats, he told them no-one had ever put any in and later he found that the Gov had been invoiced to put the bats in and then later they had invoiced to take them back out….two invoices for the long suffering taxpayer and none of this had occurred.
So its plain that the US is not the only country capable of paying $200,000 to deliver a hammer to a job in Pakistan. It just requires the bureaucracy and socialist Govs to get all cozy, and then any kind of madness is possible, and people already with vast fortunes can organize quickly and really clean up. See Global Warming.
I wrote Garret a terse letter at the time and finished up by saying, “Who’s beds burning now asshole?” I did not receive a reply.

Retired_Engineer_Jim
February 1, 2018 9:19 am

Eric,
Over here on our side of the Pacific, “top-secret and highly classified” documents are not the same as “confidential”, Which is it?

Mark from Oz
February 1, 2018 2:05 pm

A decade ago as a nation we made a terrible decision to make this narcissist our PM. All kinds of wacky schemes came out of the new Govt of the time.

thingadonta
February 1, 2018 4:35 pm

All you need to know about Kevin Rudd is that he tried to greatly increase mining taxes to pay for vast government (socialist) schemes (largely directed towards his left wing government buddies) without even bothering to, and blank refusing, to talk to the miners, or his own government officials, or his own government departments, or even the tax office; in order to ‘give back to the people the wealth from the greedy miners’, or such words.
Immediately after this he was, quite rightly, fired by his own party.

Brett
February 2, 2018 7:47 pm

His responsibility was for a limited time only…
“Under the changes announced by Mr Rudd, Mr Combet will be given the direct responsibility for the troubled insulation program. Mr Rudd admitted the department changes were a demotion for Mr Garrett.” … “There’s absolutely no use sugar-coating the facts; there have been some problems in the implementation of this program, problems that as Prime Minister I have taken responsibility for and problems that I’m therefore responsible for taking action to fix.”
The National Electrical and Communications Association (NECA) warned them…
“As soon as we heard of the Government’s plans in 2009 to role this initiative out so rapidly we pointed out that there were huge safety risks. But sadly, our voice was not heard – despite writing to all the key ministers involved.“ http://electricalconnection.com.au/neca-supports-judicial-enquiry-insulation-deaths/
The letter sent by NECA:
https://www.jrt.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/RE-Royal-Commission-into-the-Home-Insulation-Program-Letter.pdf

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