Ross Vasta MP: It is with regret that I rise today to expose the government’s failures in administering the Solar Hot Water Rebate. The climate change portfolio has been plagued with implementation and administrative failures ever since the government took office. Under Labor we have seen the disasters that have occurred in the Home Insulation Program, the total failure of the Green Loans scheme, the discontinuation of the solar panels program—which had a significant budget blow-out—and now the Renewable Energy Bonus Scheme-Solar Hot Water Rebate program. The administrative failures that are now occurring are having a real and significant impact on the budgets of families and pensioners in my electorate of Bonner, families and pensioners who in good faith made the financial commitment to replace their electric hot water systems with solar systems on the basis that they would receive a $1,000 rebate from the federal government within a reasonable time of outlaying their money.
It is evident now, nearly eight months after lodging their rebate application, that people like Mr Peter Lovrincevic of Mount Gravatt East are still waiting for a rebate to be forthcoming from this government, yet the state government managed to pay Mr Lovrincevic their rebate contribution within six weeks. His is a single-income family which made a significant outlay on the basis that the $1,000 rebate would be paid by the federal government. At a time when all families are feeling the pinch of higher prices, with the total cost of living rising, it is an insult for the government to delay, due to incompetence, people’s rightful rebate. This is also true for Mr Denny Lagos of Mount Gravatt, a pensioner who was trying to get the department to acknowledge receipt of his rebate application nearly four months after he submitted it, let alone being given any idea of when the rebate might be paid. So far I have not had any legitimate explanation for this administrative failure.
I ask this government to honour its commitment to Mr Lovrincevic, Mr Lagos and all other rebate applicants, who have made their commitment in good faith, and pay the rebate that they are entitled to immediately.
This is from a statement made in Parliament by Federal Member for Bonner, Ross Vasta MP on February 9, 2011.