FACING THE MUSIC: Prime Minister Kevin Rudd speaking with protesting insulation installers in Canberra yesterday, including the general manager of the South Grafton-based company Power Results, Jo Doran, second from left. AAP IMAGE/ALAN PORRITT
FACING THE MUSIC: Prime Minister Kevin Rudd speaking with protesting insulation installers in Canberra yesterday, including the general manager of the South Grafton-based company Power Results, Jo Doran, second from left. AAP IMAGE/ALAN PORRITT

PM feels the heat in a day of protest

IT started off as a small-scale protest in Canberra to oppose the Government’s axing of the Home Insulation Program.

But by lunchtime yesterday the general manager of South Grafton-based Power Results Insulation, Jo Doran, had had a face-to-face meeting with Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, the Opposition Leader Tony Abbott and a meeting locked in with Employment Participation Minister Mark Arbib later in the day.

Mrs Doran had travelled to Canberra with workers from four family-run insulation businesses from NSW and Victoria. Their aim was to protest against the scrapping of the Home Insulation Program and the loss of jobs that would follow.

It had been estimated that the early ending of the insulation program would result in the loss of 6000 jobs.

Job losses have already been felt in the Clarence Valley with at least 100 workers sacked from Power Results – 40 of those workers were from Grafton alone.

After listening to what the protesters had to say, Mr Rudd admitted the Government was responsible for the current mess and revealed measures to clean it up.

In Parliament he announced a $41.2 million package to assist insulation workers.

“The Government will continue to assess the number of workers displaced by the early termination of the Home Insulation Program, and will make adjustments to this package as required,” Mr Rudd said. “Many of these people are good honest workers whose jobs have been disrupted because of a small number of shonky operators.”

When the Daily Examiner caught up with Mrs Doran yesterday afternoon she was still at Parliament House preparing for what she expected would be a lengthy meeting with Employment Participation Minister Mark Arbib. She described the day as hectic.

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