05 April 2010

Letter to Mark Butler MP regarding the Green Loans Program

[I have written the following letter to Mark Butler MP, my federal member for the seat of Port Adelaide. If we in the GLP are to secure a fair outcome, in either the short or long term, we need the understanding and support of the federal government. - A.N.]

Dear Mr Butler,

I remember meeting you at a public visit to Mawson Lakes when you were first a candidate for the seat of Port Adelaide. We spoke briefly about discovering the topic of peak oil and of Jeremy Leggett's book, "Carbon War".

My letter concerns another issue of environmentalism: the federal government's Green Loans Program and the difficulties it is causing working families in your constituency and across Australia.

I and a fellow constituent trained to become Home Sustainability Assessors (HSAs) last year. Due to changes to the program announced on 19 February by Mr Garrett, neither she nor I have been able to secure contracts with the federal government to begin work. Both of us are losing faith that there is any support for us from either the government or ABSA, in that we have invested many thousands of dollars and many months of time to careers that became unavailable to us after the fact.

This story is not uncommon. There are some 5300 trained assessors around the country who are yet to join the workforce due to the cessation of contract agreement by DEWHA and now DCCEE. We wait for news of the remaining 1000 government contracts, for those of us fortunate enough to join the 4000 HSAs already working. An article in the Sunday Mail of 14 March 2010 tells of the suffering of both an uncontracted and an underemployed HSA, at least the former of which resides in your electorate.

I have written extensively about the GLP since January this year, as the Program was already showing signs of stress from within. The second of these was published last month in On Line Opinion, and I plan to submit these articles as a set to the upcoming Senate Inquiry into the GLP. I would urge you to read these articles to gain a more comprehensive view of the plight of those of us embroiled in the Program:


We are trying to spread the word as much as possible, as we need collective action and government support to ensure an equitable outcome for all involved.

Please feel free to contact me if you would like to discuss the matter further.

Thank you for your time.

Yours sincerely,

Aaron Nielsen

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