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Tuesday, 23rd February, 2010

* Ryan Haynes, who works for insulation company Totally Cool, welcomed yesterday's announcement by Peter Garrett of an audit into homes which have had pink batts installed. * Ryan Haynes, who works for insulation company Totally Cool, welcomed yesterday's announcement by Peter Garrett of an audit into homes which have had pink batts installed.

A local ceiling insulation installer has welcomed a federal government audit into homes fitted with pink batts.

After the death of four men, more than 90 house fires and a long list of complaints about the ceiling insulation program, Environment Minister Peter Garrett announced yesterday that the government would begin checking 15 per cent of homes fitted with batts.

The announcement is in addition to a recent decision to audit more than 400,000 homes fitted with foil insulation and three days after Minister Garrett scrapped the controversial program. Totally Cool manager Ryan Haynes said he had been overwhelmed after hundreds of people called him concerned about dodgy ceiling insulation jobs.

Despite personally checking one in four of the homes his company installed ceiling insulation in, Mr Haynes welcomed the audit and the setting up of a dedicated hotline. "Yes it's good," he said. "Since riday I have had over 200 calls regarding the insulation rebate getting stopped . . . and dodgy jobs. "This will help put people's minds at ease."

In a statement issued yesterday Mr Garrett detailed how the audit would work, saying 15 per cent of homes fitted with batts, and deemed to have "safety risks", would get checked.

Risk factors include the safety record of the installer, the age of the home, and whether there was electrical equipment, such as downlights, and flues, in the ceiling.

More than one million homes have been fitted with insulation under the now-cancelled scheme, including about 1,000 in Broken Hill. Mr Haynes said Totally Cool had installed ceiling insulation to more than 7,000 homes in NSW and Qld, and more than 500 in Broken Hill. While he said he could understand people being wary, Mr Haynes said they would probably have less trouble if they used a reputable operator."I've been doing insulation long before the rebate started and we'll be doing it long after," he said.

People have been calling worried that their job hasn't been installed properly and the bad press."I fully understand it but people have to know that if they've gone with a reputable company they really don't have anything to worry about. "If you're worried that the job is not done correctly call the government hotline." Householders concerned about the safety of their roof insulation will be able to request an audit by ringing a hotline number which will be available from tomorrow, but in the meantime can call 1800 808 571.

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