Friday, 5 July 2013

Election diary Friday 5 July - Pink Batt memories

On the home front it was not the greatest of days for the Labor Party campaign.As I wrote for my Crikey column this morning, they can have their rough spots, those honeymoons. The return of pink batts to the nation’s headlines was not quite the start Kevin Rudd wanted for the second week of his second coming.

It had not got any better by the time the evening television news bulletins came around. Grieving parents of dead young men apparently make wonderful ratings material so the PM was on a hiding to nothing despite giving a kind of half-hearted apology after he arrived in Indonesia last night.

The memories of comments from the past just won't go away with the Coalition having fun trying to get the PM to reveal what warnings about the dangers of the pink batts scheme he was made aware of back in those global financial crisis days.

I was reminded of this extract from a Four Corners program back in April 2010 by a Margo Kingston tweet:
More than six months after the death of their son, the Fullers are still searching for answers. It’s taken them to Canberra and into what they thought was a private meeting with Greg Combet.
KEVIN FULLER, MATTHEW'S FATHER: Kevin Rudd burst into the meeting after about 15 minutes and sat right next to me and he didn't, he didn't remember my name, so I shook his hand and said it's Kevin, it's not that difficult to remember type logic. Ah same as his, you'd think he'd remember that one.
CHRISTINE FULLER, MATTHEW'S MOTHER: I can't even remember what he said, it was nothing important. Yeah, we we told him we held him responsible, um and that we would we and I'm sure the other families of the other young lads would like a public apology. We've never had a a public apology, an admission that they've stuffed up, you know.
WENDY CARLISLE (to Kevin Fuller): Did he personally apologise to you in that meeting?
WENDY CARLISLE (to Kevin Fuller): No expression of sorrow?
KEVIN FULLER, MATTHEW'S FATHER: Ah there may have been, in it's an unfortunate or um you know talking around the issue and around the program, but no looking in my eyes or Christine's eyes and saying I'm sorry. Even sorry for your loss would've been good.
WENDY CARLISLE: The cost of the governments home insulation program has been great. Lives lost. Houses razed. A massive clean up. And for the Fullers, there is only the government to blame.
KEVIN FULLER, MATTHEW'S FATHER: We didn't even let Matt's name out for almost four months, because we stupidly trusted the system. We trusted that the minister and the prime minister and the all the departments involved would actually do something, would listen and change something. They did nothing. They just justified their existence all the way through. They allowed three other kids to get killed.
CHRISTINE FULLER, MATTHEW'S MOTHER: There was no duty of care anywhere in any of this from the top down, from the government to the ministers, their aids, the guys that employed them. There was no care.
It does make last night's apology seem a bit hollow.
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