We came to a new point in Australian politics today. Ministerial responsibility is gone and a new system of no one is responsible for mistakes has replaced it.
The scrapping of the home insulation program will come to haunt this Labor Government. It makes a complete mockery of Kevin Rudd's claims to be a man who governs by following proper process. The whole sorry story is a text book example of what happens when public servants without experience in administering major contracts are told to spend money in a hurry.
Over in the Environment Department there are a whole lot of serious and well-meaning men and women who are well qualified to identify the energy saving, and thus environmental, benefits that an insulation program brings. They have no qualifications at all to spend billions to achieve their aims.
As I have written before, this Government initiative, commendable in its intentions, attracted spivs aplenty because of a naive belief that the market would work it out. Just as bankers left unfettered throughout the world plundered billions so too in Australia have hundreds of unqualified smarties got their hands on millions for work they did sloppily or in many cases work they did not do at all.
The price has been paid by four relatively untrained workers recruited to take part in the rort who died in ceilings and by thousands of Australian home owners who now have at best insulation that does not insulate and at worst.
And no one is being held responsible!