Climate Change in debt… The Department of Climate Change is planning a major debt recovery program in the New Year to recover hundreds of millions of dollars rorted under the Household Insulation Program/Low Emmission Assistance Program for Renters, and rescue packages including the Insulation Industry Assistance Program. The Department continues to mismanage not only the primary pink batts program, but all subsequent rescue programs as well at Australian taxpayers’ expense.

The Department is facing multi-million dollar lawsuits in which it does not have the capital to cover. Maybe this is the reason for Prime Minister Gillard appointing Dr Parkinson from the Department of Climate Change to the new role of Treasury Secretary to fund the bail-out.

…and sub-contracts training. The Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency sub-contracts Price Waterhouse Coopers to manage the Home Insulation Safety and Rectification programs. Price Waterhouse Coopers sub-contract CSR Bradfords and United Group Limited to conduct inspections and rectifications of houses who had insulation installed under the failed pink batts program.

The Department is paying all training costs of CSR Bradfords staff to be trained as Home Insulation Safety Inspectors but not funding any component of United Group Limited contractors to undertake the same training. How much is the training costing the Australian tax payer and why the inequity in funding arrangements favouring one commercial organsiation over another?

And pink batts still cause grief. Almost 12 months after the Department of Climate Change cancelled its failed pink batts program installers are still no closer to finalising their affairs. Some businesses have gone into liquidation, losing everything they have, while others have resorted to other more desperate means by attempting to take their own lives (which the Department is well aware of). Still the Department mismanages the clean-up of this disastrous insulation program. Not that you would know with a number of executives in the Department responsible for the program getting performance bonuses, awards or promotions as a result of their participation.

Did the harbourmaster have enough experience? Are you aware that the harbourmaster at Christmas Island has never had any experience at sea and was in fact an office manager for a local company? The federal government was trying to prevent qualified foreign-going sea captains (normally required by law) from holding the position to save money.

An experienced person would have launched the 33-foot pilot boat complete with towing bollard or one of two twin-engined cargo barges by crane at the wharf or the alternative East Coast Port which was designed to be used during north westerly swells. The old original marine department has launched rescue boats by crane many times in the past during rough weather — in fact one harbourmaster rescued a 7000-tonne phosphate ship that had foundered and was in fact grinding in to the cliffs during rough weather. But the government’s policy of using an office worker as a harbourmaster may have cost more lives than necessary. An experienced harbourmaster could have had rescue craft in the water in less than an hour.

NAB goes on holidays. It seems NAB computers are taking a holiday. No transfers from Friday 24/12 until Wednesday 29/12. I wonder if NAB will not take mortgage payments, etc, out of people’s accounts for the same period?

Christmas 2010 important information

As the Christmas/New Year period draws closer, we want to remind you of the processing times and our support centre availability during this period.

Funds Transfers and Bill Payments

We’ll still process funds transfers between your linked NAB accounts immediately.

Funds transfers and bill payments submitted after the published cut-off times on Friday 24 December 2010 to a non-linked NAB account or to an account at another financial institution in Australia will be processed on Wednesday 29 December 2010.

Funds transfers and bill payments submitted after the published cut-off times on Friday 31 December 2010 to a non-linked NAB account or to an account at another financial institution in Australia will be processed on Tuesday 4 January 2011.

Peter Fray

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