With the scrapping of the Federal Government’s troubled insulation rebate scheme, Dennis Greenup of Wollongbar is now out of work three years earlier than he had expected.
With the scrapping of the Federal Government’s troubled insulation rebate scheme, Dennis Greenup of Wollongbar is now out of work three years earlier than he had expected. DAVID NIELSEN

Insulation installer gutted

LIFE was looking up for Wollongbarinsulation installer Dennis Greenup until this week.

Mr Greenup arrived at work on Monday only to find Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett had pulled the rug on the insulation rebate scheme, effectively killing off his job – and the entire industry developed to help reduce Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions.

“It’s such a big shock, we’re devastated. Everything’s gone just like that,” Mr Greenup said.

“It was supposed to be a three-year deal, so my partner and I are pretty upset about it.”

Mr Greenup had skilled-up especially for the job and had organised his own OH&S and blue work cards before starting with The Woolmen in Alstonville last year.

“Something should have been done after the first death,” he said.

“Our company was doing the right thing and all these cowboys came in after us just for the rebates. Some of them weren’t finishing jobs properly.

“Merv (Hourigan) was great to us. He had all the right safety gear, harnesses and breathing equipment, and he always checked out the ceilings for faulty wiring before we started.

“Everyone’s blaming the Government when it really should be directed at those dodgy employers.”

Mr Greenup and his partner Shannin have two dependant boys aged eight and 12.

Their older son has just started boarding school at St Joseph’s College in Sydney. Though he won an academic scholarship, it involves extra expenses.

“Now I’ve got to go back through the whole Centrelink process. I’d much rather work than do that,” he said

“I hate sitting around home like this, it’s unfair on my partner and the kids. Right now I’ll take any work I can get.”

Meanwhile, the Federal Government has announced extra assistance for displaced insulation workers.

Yesterday, the Minister for Employment Participation, Mark Arbib, announced a $10 million Productivity Places Program for insulation workers to help them retrain.

“The Government is committed to ensuring that displaced workers in Lismore receive the support they need with new training opportunities,” Senator Arbib said.

“Any worker who loses their job in the insulation industry will have immediate access to assistance under the Government’s Compact for Retrenched Workers.

“When a displaced insulation worker registers with a Jobs Services Australia provider, they will get immediate access to high-level support.

“This guarantees them access to retraining support.”



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