Look, we all know Peter Garrett’s heart is in the right place, but dear oh dear he is presiding over a mess. Jim Belshaw has beaten me to the punch on this one: Losing patience with Mr Garrett. Like Jim I was prepared to cut him some slack, but as Jim says: “The decision to effectively cancel the scheme is one of those ‘hard’, ‘tough’ decisions that actually inflicts great pain even on those who have done the right thing.”
The insulation roll-out was obviously not supervised closely enough, and was also rushed. Naively, the Rudd government seems to have left themselves wide open to the Dodgy Brothers factor — only too much a part of the Australian scene, especially in building and subcontracting.
In a sense, the Dodgy Brothers of our community have scuppered the scheme, but the government provided the opening for them and now, as Jim says, the public and the honourable firms pay the price.
This is such a shame as insulation is one of the most cost-effective weapons in the fight to mitigate climate change. See The Role of Insulation (commercially motivated but still reliable) and IPCC: 3.3.1 The Main Mitigation Options in the Buildings Sector.
Gabrielle Walker and Sir David King, The Hot Topic (2008) includes the graphic on the right and endorses it. The source is “A cost curve for greenhouse gas reduction” (2007) by Per-Anders Enkvist, Tomas Nauclér, and Jerker Rosander: Enkvist et al. — McKinsey Quarterly 2007 (PDF — same window).
So, a very good idea royally screwed in implementation. Not good enough.
The trouble is Abbott and Company are the political dodgy brothers of climate change basics, so there is little hope in that direction.