In the News
Alex Hawke urges homeowners who have installed foil insulation under the Rudd Government’s failed home insulation scheme to call the hotline 131 792 and seek immediate safety inspection
The Federal Member for Mitchell, Alex Hawke, is urging all households who installed foil insulation through the Rudd Government’s failed home insulation scheme to seek an urgent safety inspection to ensure their homes are safe.
Mr Hawke said he had been contacted by local residents who have been concerned, in general, about Rudd Government’s home insulation scheme. However, an audit has revealed as many as 1000 homes that had foil insulation installed through this failed scheme may have deadly electrical currents in their roofs.
"Safety is paramount and I encourage any local homeowners who have been part of this failed insulation scheme to seek urgent information by calling the hotline on 131 792.
“Homeowners should not try to check things for themselves. Tragically, four people have already died, and there is a real risk of more fatalities.
"I am committed to doing all I can to ensure homeowners who have installed foil insulation under the program have access to safety inspections and upgrade of the insulation if required under the program," Mr Hawke said.
If you have not installed insulation under the program but have any concerns about electrical safety and insulation, you should contact a licensed electrician to arrange an inspection, Mr Hawke said.
To learn more about the Coalition’s Direct Action for the Environment and Climate Change click here
The Rudd Government has backed-down from imposing extra costs on local residents requiring cataract surgery, said the Federal Member for Mitchell, Alex Hawke.
"The Rudd Government has confirmed that it would no longer seek to reduce Medicare rebates for cataract surgery by a staggering 51 per cent,” Mr Hawke said. “Cataract sufferers will no longer be hit with hundreds of dollars in extra costs when they undergo surgery.”
After negotiations with ophthalmologists the rebates will be reduced by just 12 per cent and leading doctors have said it is likely most practitioners will absorb that cost leaving few patients out of pocket.
“This is great news for the estimated 120,000 Australians who undergo cataract surgery each year,” Mr Hawke said.
“The Rudd Government and the Health Minister, Nicola Roxon, have stubbornly attempted to impose these savage financial imposts on cataract sufferers without one thought for the impact their actions would have on patients.”
Mr Hawke said the Rudd Government first outlined drastic reductions in Medicare rebates in last year’s Budget.
“The Coalition told them it was the wrong thing to do, crossbench Senators told them it was the wrong thing to do, so too did doctors, pensioners and seniors’ groups, but they continued on,” Mr Hawke said.
“From November 1 last year rebates paid to patients dropped from just over $600 to around $300. That left patients – mostly seniors – the very people who least can afford to pay more, to find several hundred dollars more from their own pockets to pay for this vital surgery.
“The Coalition twice disallowed these cuts in the Senate, forcing the Government to twice increase the rebate. However the Coalition said from the start that it should be returned to its initial level and would have rejected the Government’s actions again when Parliament resumed this month.”
Facing a third rejection in the Senate the Health Minister late last year began negotiations with specialists who carry out cataract surgery.
“That was something which should have done at the outset,” Mr Hawke said.
“The Rudd Government didn’t consider the impact its actions would have on patients, instead it was determined to inflict its ideological views on ordinary Australians at any cost.”
The Federal Member for Mitchell, Alex Hawke, has attacked the Rudd Government over reckless spending which is putting upward pressure on interest rates.
“Labor must take the pressure off interest rates,” Mr Hawke said. “Last year local residents were hit with higher bills and charges in all areas, including health, education, electricity and water.
“Many local families are right on the limit to what they can afford. For some, any increase in interest rates could push them into great financial difficulty. It is a message I hear right throughout the Hills, from Bella Vista, to Kellyville, to Rouse Hill.
“The Opposition has been calling for the Rudd Government to rein-in spending. They must take control of the waste and mismanagement in their departments,” Mr Hawke said.
“The legacy of the Howard Government has been spent. Now we are approaching unprecedented levels of government debt and spending. They must overcome their addiction to stimulus.
“It seems the Rudd Government has chosen home owners and small businesses to have mortgage pain, over their own political pain. Keep the pressure off interest rates,” Mr Hawke said.
A Federal Coalition Government will improve the environment and reduce greenhouse gas emissions through direct action and practical, local measures, said the Federal Member for Mitchell, Alex Hawke.
“The Coalition’s direct action plan is careful, costed and capped – reducing emissions and improving the environment without a great big new tax on everything,” Mr Hawke said.
“The Coalition’s climate change policy does not include any new or increased taxes. It takes advantage of Australia’s natural comparable advantages: soil and sun – both of which we have in abundance.
“By providing incentives to families and businesses, we will help them reduce carbon emissions through practical, effective and direct action that will also improve the local environment.
“This is in stark contrast to the Rudd Government’s great big tax on everything that will increase the costs of living for families, penalise businesses and destroy jobs.
“Significantly, the Coalition’s policy will achieve real benefits for the environment for a fraction of the cost of the Government’s ETS. Between 2011-12 and 2014-15, the Coalition’s policy will cost $3.2 billion. In the comparable period, the Government’s ETS will cost more than $40 billion,” Mr Hawke said.
The Coalition will establish a $2.5 billion Emissions Reduction Fund to provide direct incentives to industry and farmers to reduce CO2 emissions. Businesses that reduce emissions below their baseline or ‘business as usual’ activity will be able to sell their CO2 abatement to the government. This will provide a direct financial incentive to take action to reduce emissions below baseline levels.
Families and businesses will be encouraged to take up renewable energy with the goal of achieving one million additional solar energy roofs on homes by 2020.
“The Coalition will support a range of measures to support the increased uptake and use of renewable energy in homes and communities,” Mr Hawke said.
“This includes a $1,000 rebate for either solar hot water systems or solar panels, capped at 100,000 rebates per year. This will be in addition to the existing rebates.
“We will also support the planting of an additional 20 million trees by 2020 to re-establish urban forests and green corridors.
“These are some practical measures that will improve our environment and reduce greenhouse gas emissions - all without a great a great big new tax that will increase the price of everything,” Mr Hawke said.