Friday, August 9, 2013

Coalition team makes embarrassing mistake with insulation accusation - Brisbane Times

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott during his visit to a home insulation business in Brisbane, on Friday August 9.

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott during his visit to a home insulation business in Brisbane, on Friday August 9. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

The Coalition campaign has been left red-faced by a bungle in which it urged journalists to quiz Kevin Rudd on the death of a young tradesman during the home insulation scheme - only to get the man's family name wrong.

The email from Liberal Campaign Headquarters to reporters travelling with Mr Rudd recommends five questions, including: "When will Mr Rudd meet with Kevin and Christine Foster to personally apologise for his bungled pink batts scheme?"

Matthew Fuller died after an accident occurred while he was installing ceiling insulation.

Matthew Fuller died after an accident occurred while he was installing ceiling insulation.

The name "Foster" should have read "Fuller". Kevin and Christine Fuller's son Matthew was one of four installers who died during the government-sponsored roof installation program.

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The Fullers have expressed anger that Mr Rudd has not met with them and have called for a judicial inquiry into the botched scheme. Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has backed such an inquiry.

Mr Fuller told The Courier-Mail in Brisbane the family was angry Mr Rudd had not answered a letter they sent him on July 20.

"That was well over a month ago and he has not been able to fit it in to his busy campaigning schedule, or to make it any sort of priority to have any meeting with the families," he said.

Matthew James Fuller was electrocuted in October 2009 while installing insulation into a Brisbane home. An inquiry by the Queensland Coroner found the speed of the schemes rollout contributed to Mr Fuller's death and those of three other tradesmen.

Christine Forster is the name of Mr Abbott's sister.

The email sent by the Liberal campaign to reporters also urged them to ask Mr Rudd about the "stage-managed" nature of his campaign, his reported request for $2 million from the Queensland branch's investment arm, deputy Prime Minister Anthony Albanese's recent beer with former Labor MP Craig Thomson and the manoeuvring behind former Queensland Premier Peter Beattie's bid for a federal seat.


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