Sparks fly over ceiling bungles

BUNDABERG’S electrical firms are backing away from a federal government plan to get them to inspect work done under its bungled insulation installation plan.

Electricians claim they face too many pitfalls if they agree to do the work.

None of them were prepared to speak on the record yesterday, but one who insisted on remaining anonymous said there was too much potential for electricians to be the losers if they did the inspections.

“When you stick your head through the manhole into the ceiling, all you can see is the foil insulation and you just don’t know what’s under there – you can’t see if the wires are damaged and the whole thing could be live,” he said.

“And what if you sign off that everything is safe and in a month a mouse nibbles on the wires, they’re damaged, the ceiling is a death trap and there’s your signature on the form saying it’s safe?”

Electrical Trades Union Central Queensland organiser Craig Giddens said another problem was if an electrician found something wrong in a ceiling space, they were obliged to fix it.

“They don’t want to be in a situation where they might have to fix something not insulation related and then the householder doesn’t want to pay them,” he said.

“As far as the insulation situation goes, I honestly believe it’s a bit of a farce as far as making the installers responsible.”

Master Electricians Australia CEO Malcolm Richards said the organisation ran a website to assist the government in finding master electricians who were trained to do inspections of installed insulation.

He said anyone who was concerned about their insulation could contact the organisation and a master electrician would be sent to inspect it.

A spokesman for Environment Minister Peter Garrett said at the moment people could engage a licensed inspector to do the inspections.

The government was in the process of organising people to do the inspections.



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