In a statement from the Shadow Minister for Small Business, Bruce Billson has chastised the Federal Government for not providing assistance to small businesses affected by the freeze on the home insulation program headed by Peter Garrett.
Support for the army of insulation installers who have lost their jobs is an important initial step, but Mr Garrett and the Rudd Labor Government have once again ignored the impact of their actions on small businesses that employ the installers, who now face little work and no forward orders as a direct result of Peter Garrett’s bungled handling of his department’s program.
Labor’s bungling of the home insulation program has resulted in the tragedy of lives lost and property damaged and destroyed, and now small businesses are facing economic hardship, big investment losses, on-going expenses with no income and possible receivership.
What Mr Garrett does not seem to understand is factory and vehicle leases don’t pause; stock does not pay for itself; business start-up and accreditation costs are not recovered; insurances and operating expenses do not simply cease because the Minister decides to deny people the opportunity to earn the income he promised would be available.
The Government talks about how it might keep experienced and accredited insulation installers in the industry so they might return after the deep freeze on the home insulation program is over but this does nothing to assist small businesses survive in the industry and to recognise the economic harm Peter Garrett has caused.
Peter Garrett and the Rudd Labor Government must act to address the harm and hardship they have caused to viable and reputable insulation small businesses and recognise that hanging them out to dry will mean many will not survive to pick up the pieces of the home insulation industry once the Government-imposed deep freeze thaws.