On the 6 May 2010 the Honourable Greg Combet AM MP and the
Honourable Senator Kim Carr announced that applications had opened
for further assistance to support the insulation industry. The
Insulation Industry Assistance Package
("IIAP") allows eligible businesses to
seek a once off cash payment of 15 per cent of the dollar value of
their ceiling insulation stock holding as at 30 April 2010 subject
to certain eligibility criteria.
While the package will assist installers, manufacturers,
distributors and importers of insulation products with payments of
up to $500,000, recent reports suggest that the financial cap will
mean that numerous large scale industries will still be
significantly disadvantaged. We further note that the package only
extends to covering the costs of insulation products that were on
the Home Insulation Program Approved List of Products as at 19
The Federal Government, in limiting the range of industries that
can access the IIAP, appears to have failed to recognise the impact
that the failure of the Home Insulation Program
("HIP") has had on the "legitimate
operators" in the supply chain. The announcement made on the 6
May 2010 has given little comfort to affected parties such as
customs brokers, forwarders and warehouse owners as it has now been
confirmed that they are ineligible to apply for the IIAP.
The position of these parties had already been adversely
affected by the recent announcement by the Federal Government that
it was not going to resume the HIP in June as it had previously
announced. This further reduced the market value of any insulation
As you are aware, we are acting for a number of the affected
service providers and given the announcement of the Federal
Government seemed to have closed off avenues for recovery of costs,
we will now move to a more direct call for compensation for those
parties without unnecessary delay or inconvenience. For those for
whom we act, we will send a combined submission to the Federal
Government. That submission will point out that the combined effect
of the Government's action has been to leave our clients
with significant losses and costs which are increasing with little
prospect of covering those costs and losses from the sale of the
Government withholding 51,000 insulation rebates
Following the announcement of the first charges being laid as a
result of the HIP, news reports have reported that a letter had
been sent to all insulation installers warning that 51,000 rebates
currently unpaid would be withheld until investigations in the
possibility of fraud had been conducted. Clearly, this severely
affects many installers owed money by the Federal Government.
Remember: Caution when exercising lien over goods
For those currently considering exercising their power to sell
goods under a lien we remind you that certain procedures must be
followed to ensure their liens are properly exercised. Further, to
protect your rights, the best price should be obtained for the
goods and documentation of all transactions should be maintained
including all efforts to sell the goods. We also recommend
continuing to pursue your clients for monies owing. At all times
those affected must act to mitigate their losses.
Mitigating losses: Container Detention Fees
In attempting to mitigate losses, those parties who are
currently paying 'Container Detention Fees' should note
the recent decision of the New South Wales Consumer Trader and
Tenancy Tribunal which held such fees to be unenforceable if they
are deemed excessive. This decision may provide affected parties
the opportunity to re-negotiate the terms of their contracts in
relation to fees charged. Last week an E-Alert was sent out from
our office regarding this decision, if you would like a copy please
do not hesitate to contact us.
Should you have any further queries in relation to your rights
and obligations please contact Andrew Hudson.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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