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Articles > Australian Insulation Rebate - Shonky free ceiling insulation installers -  Rogue - Peter Garret

Introduction

Since early 2009, The Australian Government started offering full rebates for installation of ceiling insulation. At the time, any business or company with an ABN or ACN could carry out the work. As a result, the insulation industry started booming - including 'cowboys' without the experience nor qualification. Overseas batt manufacturers flooded the market with inferior products that do not confirm to Australian Standards, with some batts containing formaldehyde - a carcinogenic chemical.

Thousands of unscrupulous contractors and rogue businesses, without the appropriate qualification or experience, started making unsolicited calls to millions of residents offering insulation, regardless of whether it was required or not.

Most residents, unaware of the risks, agreed to the installation. Because there were no out-of-pocket costs involved, the majority of residents were lured (usually by greed) into getting the work done. The government pays the installers for the costs of labour and materials. The environment minister, Peter Garret, is to blame for implementing such a programme without the proper measures or budgeting to prevent such things from happening.

A report on 16 February 2010 says up to 400,000 homes could have dodgey insulation installed. The foil insulation could lead to electrical fires if installed improperly. The imported batts could lead to health problems.

Problems

Often, the work is not up to the standard. Recently (January 2010) the Australian Government identified problems with foil-based insulation. Installers were not trained properly on the proper installation of this type of insulation. In several cases, installers were electrocuted from using metal fasteners, which inadvertently were driven into electrical wiring. Also, in older homes, the wiring has deteriorated (electrical insulation breakdown), with the conductor coming into contact with the foil, 'electrifying' the ceiling space. Anyone working in the space would be at risk of electrocution. The foil can also cause short-circuits if installed improperly, leading to house fires.

From 12 February 2010, installers are required to undertake training and gain the appropriate qualification before they are permitted to undertake such work.

Wasted taxpayer funds from unnecessary installations. Residents in newer homes may not realise their existing insulation is already up to the standard. They then agree to the installation of 'extra' insulation, which has no added effects or advantages on their heating/cooling requirements. At a cost of $1200 per home, each unnecessary installation adds more burden to taxpayer-funded budgets. Shonky installers will say anything to get your business.

Wasted taxpayer funds from fraudulent installations. A large number of properties that have agreed to have insulation installed have only had a partial installation done. The fraudulent shonky installers only install insulation material into one half, or even a quarter of the ceiling, hoping the owner doesn't realise they have been ripped off. The installer then claims the full $1200 rebate from the Australian Government, even though they only used $200 or less in materials.

Incorrect installations. Often, the new insulation batts are installed on top of existing insulation batts. In some cases, the old insulation must be removed to ensure the effectiveness of the new material. However, the contractors do not do so because it costs them money, so they take shortcuts.

Possible security risk. When thousands of installers (with their apprentices) go into millions of homes, residents' personal assets and property (such as TVs, computers, appliances, etc) can be seen and noted. Armed with such information, unscrupulous installers can potentially steal property, or pass/sell the information onto other crime syndicates.

Privacy breaches. Representative organisations call up with the intention of organising a date and time for an contractor to conduct an inspection and/or possible installation. The unsettling part is when they tell you your name, address and phone number and ask you to confirm if the details are correct. This must mean they have purchased, or been given address lists to use. These organisations gain a 'commission' to book in customers on behalf of contractors.

Risk of damage. There have been instances of installers failing to refurbish roof tiles, and the owner only finding out on a rainy day of a hole in their roof with leaks. Repairing the ceiling water damage can become a nightmare. Also, if insulation has been installed over downlights, there is a risk of fire.

Incompetent call centre staff. Most of the unsolicited calls are made by persons with an Indian accent. When questioned, most do not even know their company's ABN, phone number or even address. Perhaps they act stupid in order not to reveal such information? It is absurd that residents trust such businesses with major works on their homes when shonky businesses try to hide behind anonymity.

Bad call timings. The calls rarely occur in the mornings and afternoons. They usually happen between the hours of 5pm until 8pm. More often than not they call during dinner time - the most inappropriate time - especially when TV news programmes are covering the issue. It makes you wonder how these people even get business by irritating homeowners during these times.

Actions you can take

Don't accept installations from unsolicited callers. Often, they are there to make a quick dollar by:

If you decide your home really does need new or additional insulation installed, you should call a reputable installer. Only under exceptional circumstances accept work from an unsolicited caller.

Remember, the unsolicited installers are not there to look after your interests. They will simply do anything to get the work in order to make quick money.

As always, use the Australian Government's Do Not Call Register to prevent such calls from being made to you.

Accepting work from an unsolicited offer

If you do accept an installation offer from an unsolicited caller, you should always ask for:

When the installer arrives, and before work begins, ensure you record and verify:

Also make record of the date, time and how long the work took to complete. If there are problems in the future, it will be easier to make a complaint or even seek compensation from damages.

It is also difficult to make a request to 'fix' incorrect installations or subsequential damage as a result of negligence. The contractors will usually say 'you didn't pay for it, so don't complain'.

Culprits on the list:

Premium Installations Pty Ltd

An organisation that calls themselves 'Bliss', based in South Melbourne, an agency that calls on behalf of contractors and takes commission from insulation work

Aftermath

After Peter Garret closed down the scheme in mid February 2010, many legitimate insulation installation businesses were left without work. Employers were forced to sack workers due to lack of work.

Many homeowners with dodgey insulation installed have little recourse with the installers - almost all of the rogue and shonky installers would want to have nothing to do with the installation - and when called to rectify the problem, they refuse to take corrective action. It is now up to the government to send out auditors to inspect the installations.

Let Us know

If you know of any other businesses with bad practices, let us know!

Also, if your home has bad insulation installed, let us know here.

2013 Royal Commission

Finally, several years after the scheme ended, a Royal Commission into the botched scheme has begun on 23 Dec 2013. What was originally a Rudd Government stimulus package has turned into a nightmare. Instead of stimulating the industry and economy, it has sparked a flood of inexperienced fly-by-nighters, who gave a bad name to the industry, and caused legitimate insulation installation companies to go out of business, and the death of four people.

The families of the four young installers who died are now seeking answers on why their loved ones were killed.

The commission will look into what risks the government & senior public servants knew of during the rushed rollout of the scheme in 2009.

Comments

Phil Davis, Fri, 12 Feb 2010 01:26 pm: Reply
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I usually get one call per day from these people. Half the time I just hang up. I also tell them to stop wasting taxpayer dollars because I don't need their silly, unsafe services.

Update, Fri, 19 Feb 2010 01:09 pm: Reply
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Reputable installers have been sent text messages saying the scheme has ended. The messages possibly originates from shoddy operators trying to stop legitimate businesses from operating. Or it could be the actual Australian Government doing something about the issue.

The SMS says:
"Home Insulation Program has closed. Please check your emails for information. Aust Govt Msg."

Anonymous, Fri, 05 Mar 2010 09:52 am: Reply
Peter Garret should be out of politics and reforming Midnight Oil.

Terry Hooper, Thu, 25 Mar 2010 04:36 pm: Reply
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I am an electrical contractor and I do not know how to report a classic shonky insulation installation.
City West Installations (Tony Soliman) is the operator.
They installed ultra lightweight insulation on top of a good fluff insulation.
They told the home owner that because it had been there over 5 years, it had to be done.

Renee, Wed, 05 May 2010 02:12 pm: Reply
The above comment by Terry Hooper refers to me!! I googledf City West Installations to see if anyone else had the same problems. How do we complain?

The Insider, Thu, 06 May 2010 12:05 am: Reply
Hi Terry Hooper - lets just say official people know City West and all the other shonky insulation businesses. Such a shame the honest ones cop the flak as well.

Brad Ford, Fri, 07 May 2010 12:02 am: Reply
Want your say, go to FACEBOOK, search for GROUP called "dodgy insulation Australia".

jill, Tue, 11 May 2010 05:03 pm: Reply
We also used Citywest, a registered installer according to the government department. These broke corner roof tiles and somehow moved others out of alignment. A Government inspection showed that they put insulation over a ceiling fan (fire hazard) and split bats into thirds or quarters, so almost as bad as no insulation, left long gaps with no insulation and also moved the old blow-in insulation so that some of the ceiling now has no cover. Victorian Office of Fair Trading said that Citywest will not resolve any issues, and I gather there are a lot of very unhappy customers. You can take the matter to VCAT, at a cost, but your case won't be heard for at least 9 months! Not much help with our houses!

Pauline, Thu, 30 Sep 2010 08:33 pm: Reply
We also used citywest. WE have had sore eyes since. Feels like it is coming through heating ducts. What can we do?

Helen, Wed, 20 Oct 2010 11:01 am: Reply
We had Sydney City Insulations install insulation into our home in January this year. During the insulation process one of the installers their causing significant cracking (must of stepped on the ceiling), needing repair to the vaule of $1500, which the "supervisor" agreed to. The insulation itself was also not to standard requiring follow up inspection then correction to the shoddy work ie: downlights covered with insulation, bats halved to cover more area, some area not insulated at all. As soon as the government put a halt to the scheme this company went off the radar....therefore we still have a damaged ceiling with no apparent recourse

Brian Gillham, Thu, 12 May 2011 10:05 am: Reply
Many spaces were left uninsulated and some old Batts (17 years) were not removed and no New Insulation was placed over the old batts.

I have requested the install
er to inspect the job on numerous occasions but he has never turned up.

I am concerned about a fire hazzard if the insulation is shonky.

Kodger, Sat, 13 Aug 2011 09:12 pm: Reply
Youll find that tony soliman, his brothers and cousins all opened ABNs just to scam these rebates, this bunch hiring unemploed/backpackers/arab & indian imports to install roughly and cheaply... They used half the batts theyre were meant to and broke peoples roofs without repairs. They made $19 million dollars in less than a year and now own many businesses and property in the epping/lalor/thomastown/south morang area.
These guys are worth more now and dodge us through insurance claims, gardening jobs and selling stolen boats/cars/pcs etc! The mastermind behind these setups is his cousin alex dayoub (ali jamil dayoub) and his brothers ahmad and ayman (who at times go by the names adam & emmanuel. All these fellas also change their names a lot and claim theyve never worked as their wives earn centrelink etc. Youll find it hard getting to them as they pay hush money to many in their areas. Good luck guys
Sarah, Sun, 02 Oct 2011 03:00 am:
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M.d, Fri, 06 Jan 2012 10:00 am:
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Anonymous, Wed, 11 Jul 2012 08:14 am:
Koger, we're sure everyone knows this already but thanku

Sonia, Sat, 24 Sep 2011 01:22 pm: Reply
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Sarah, Sat, 01 Oct 2011 09:51 pm:
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Anonymous, Wed, 11 Jul 2012 08:25 am:
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M.d, Fri, 06 Jan 2012 09:56 am: Reply
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Anonymous, Wed, 11 Jul 2012 08:19 am:
Grow up,

Mark, Wed, 18 Apr 2012 05:38 pm: Reply
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Anonymous, Wed, 18 Apr 2012 05:44 pm: Reply
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Anonymous2, Wed, 04 Jul 2012 08:26 pm:
Whats bieng a prostitute got to do with insulation you dipwitt
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Mark, Wed, 18 Apr 2012 05:47 pm: Reply
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Anonymous, Wed, 11 Jul 2012 08:17 am:
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Shaaban, Wed, 18 Apr 2012 05:54 pm: Reply
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shaaban the man, Wed, 04 Jul 2012 08:29 pm:
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Anonymous, Wed, 11 Jul 2012 08:20 am:
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Melissa, Wed, 18 Apr 2012 06:37 pm: Reply
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Anonymous, Wed, 11 Jul 2012 08:21 am:
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Pauline, Wed, 18 Apr 2012 07:49 pm: Reply
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Anonymous, Wed, 11 Jul 2012 08:13 am:
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Fatima, Wed, 09 May 2012 07:32 am: Reply
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Anonymous, Wed, 11 Jul 2012 08:22 am:
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Aussie Bob, Tue, 12 Jun 2012 02:35 pm: Reply
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Shame on you Bernadette, Sat, 21 Jul 2012 10:48 am:
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ANON, Mon, 25 Jun 2012 07:36 pm: Reply
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Lyndon.l, Wed, 04 Jul 2012 02:28 am: Reply
What a page! City west is a sham!!!!!!!
The rest of ya are a disgrace to humans ganging up on girls.. It sounds like a pre school sook.
Don't air ur dirty laundry guys - the girl obviously had every right to leave if that's how ya spoke to her - are u even sure it's ur kid bro?!
Get a new wife/life whatever and Move on off this site mate... If the law won't help ya, u obviously don't deserve it hah .. Judging by the statements it's been a while so go b happyyyyyyyyy mate :-D
Anony, Wed, 04 Jul 2012 08:36 pm:
Good on you this guy thats pretending to be all these people must be a fuckwitt and look at all his comments why wouldnt she leave i have a feeling he must be the number one scammer of insulation since it seems so close to his heart talking about it like that jmate no one cares about your shit your probably a criminal becuase thats how they talk no manners

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Anonymous, Wed, 11 Jul 2012 08:46 am: Reply
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Dunyip, Sat, 21 Jul 2012 10:58 am: Reply
Entertaining reading. Alex, pretty obvious you have a lunatic here on your hands. Mate been there done that myself. Best thing I can tell you is to get in touch with the police. This page actually has an IP tracker. You pretty much have her for defamation right there champ. If she carries on with the circus, very least you can put her infront of a judge. Best of luck

U know, Sat, 28 Jul 2012 01:11 am: Reply
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Anonymous, Thu, 09 Aug 2012 08:06 am: Reply
What on earth!! this is all just pathethic, a joke.
I hardly think people would have time and interest in all this and i hope b never sees this, its just another low act and attempt to dirty someones name as the other person is a looney.
Whoever you jokers are, just stop and if you dont want readers swearing at you, you shouldnt swear at others.

End of story and everyone lived happily ever after :)

Just a joke! Youd have a few loose screws to continue posting comments, no matter what kind they are!

Bernadette is a Sharmoota., Tue, 14 Aug 2012 10:33 pm: Reply
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Bernadette gives best Blowjobs, Tue, 14 Aug 2012 10:35 pm: Reply
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Bernadette does Gangbangs, Tue, 14 Aug 2012 10:36 pm: Reply
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Bernadette fkd by her Dad., Tue, 14 Aug 2012 10:39 pm: Reply
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Bernadettes ex, Mon, 03 Dec 2012 03:47 am: Reply
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The Truth, Sat, 15 Dec 2012 08:43 pm: Reply
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Bernadette, Sun, 08 Mar 2015 05:59 am: Reply
I'm really shocked Al, I've only just seen this site thanks to a companion who searched my name before reaching me.
You're still calling me names?
How quick 5yrs have gone..
Give me a break Ali.. I've done it real tough & God knows I've done an amazing job with our girl.
Remember Al God sees all and one of the reasons we haven't had contact since Eve was a few months young, is because you and ur cousin Ali Rajab took me to court accusing me of trying to murder you and your family.
Nice Al.. It backfired and the reason your later appeals were rejected by the courts is partially because of this.
I think we can agree it was another low act but I've forgiven everything. It doesn't mean I trust or I'm not afraid of what may come next.
Your paranoia had me wrong & your dark shadows got in between us, so much you've somehow brought my family into it too.. That's sad after all the love they had for you.
You know I haven't spoken to them or anyone at all much but they've never spoken about you let alone spoken bad of you.

Now, besides all the reports i have, I also have this dirt on the net for our girl to see what's happened to her mother :/

Do you truely think I had time for such doings? Do you?
When I was told about this I didn't want to delve into it because as tough as it's been, my life has been amazing the past 5yrs..as well as too busy for anything but my Angel.
I don't know whether to feel sorry or just shocked and confused because one of the last sms'd you sent me back in 2010 was that Eve is not yours and you apparently divorced me? Then remarried religiously the following months?

Not sure what to think, but according to your sis Jo, you met your de facto whilst Eve and I were home and you went to Jos home engagement! The reason I say de facto is because we are legally still married.
Anyhow all this doesn't matter anymore, I wish you a good life like I'd wish anyone..
I'm sorry it turned out this way for Eve because Eve is the most amazing soul on this planet.
I fought you Al but you know I'm not not a fighter.
I just wanted to survive and I did. I never knew what to say to your sheikh friend, I didn't open my mouth bout much that I shouldve. But I'm not a fighter I just copped a lot of ... on the chin.
Eve's the light that brought me strength and air.
I can't allow anything to change her perfect soul and happy life.
I hope you understand this being now that I hear you have more kids of your own.

I won't ever go on this site again let alone delve into anything else from my past. I'm much happier this way.
Hope this sort of animosity can stop once and for all now.

B

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