LEAD Action News
LEAD Action News vol 9 no 4, September, 2009, ISSN 1324-6011
Incorporating Lead Aware Times ( ISSN 1440-4966) and Lead Advisory Service News ( ISSN 1440-0561)
The Journal of The LEAD (Lead Education and Abatement Design) Group Inc.
Editor-in-Chief: Evan Whitton

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Reply to The LEAD Group email: Insulation rebate is an opportunity for responsible action & awareness-raising on the hazards of ceiling dust

 Australian Government

Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts


Ms Elizabeth O’Brien
Manager Global Lead Advice & Support Service
PO Box 161

Dear Ms O’Brien

I refer to your email of 25 March 2009 to the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts, the Hon Peter Garrett AM MP concerning the Australian Government’s Energy Efficient Homes Package and the removal of lead dust. I have been asked to reply on his behalf and regret the time this has taken. Unfortunately the Department has no record of receiving your original correspondence in March and has only recently become aware of your issues.

The Package formally commenced on 1 July 2009 and will operate until 31 December 2011. It aims to drive employment, help the environment and boost the economy. This assistance will also help homeowners and renters to reduce their energy consumption by either having ceiling insulation installed or replacing their electric hot water system with a more energy efficient unit.

The decision to provide assistance with ceiling insulation in Australian homes was influenced by the fact that it is one of the single most cost effective ways to reduce household energy consumption and that there are some 2.9 million households nationally which are not insulated.

In the course of developing policy guidance on the implementation of this key initiative, the Government has undertaken significant consultation with industry and stakeholders on planning and design of key components of the measure including program and technical requirements.

The program applies to eligible households where there is no insulation or where there are insulation materials that are deemed to have negligible effectiveness that is, an R-value of 0.5 or less. The Package does not exclude the simple vacuuming up of residual debris, such as dust and leaf litter in the ceiling space. However the maximum assistance under the package is $1,600 for homeowners and $1,000 for landlords/renters and if the cost of the insulation exceeds the assistance, a householder may choose not to incur additional costs associated with clearing the ceiling space.

If hazardous materials such as asbestos or lead are present, we suggest that the householder, in consultation with their installer, be guided by their relevant state or territory guidelines on the removal and handling of hazardous materials. Assistance under this Package does not extend to covering the cost of removal of hazardous materials.

Thank you for your interest in the Energy Efficient Homes Package.

Yours sincerely

Kevin Keefe

Assistant Secretary, Home Energy Branch [DEWHA]

August 2009

[The insulation rebate was reduced to $1,200 on 1st November 2009 and suspended on 19th February 2010, with a replacement program to be brought in by 1st June 2010 announced by the then minister in charge, Peter Garrett. Greg Combet, the minister in charge of cleaning up the scheme, confirmed on 22nd April 2010 that the rebate scheme that was due to resume on June 1 would now not proceed because of safety concerns.]

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