Environment Health | July 13, 2020

Door closes on salespeople pushing energy upgrades

The state government has suspended door-to-door sales as part of the Victorian Energy Upgrades program after calls from Member for Lowan Emma Kealy and local residents to ban the practice due to the potential COVID-19 risks.
A number of residents contacted Ms Kealy’s office, alarmed that people were allowed to go door-to-door during the pandemic to spruik the program, which provides access to discounted energy-efficient products and services such as LED lighting replacements.
Ms Kealy said the decision to continue to allow door-to-door calls was baffling, particularly after coronavirus cases surged in Melbourne two weeks ago, where some of the salespeople involved in the scheme were travelling from.
Ms Kealy said one example was a person from the suburb of Truganina, a known COVID-19 hotspot, offering lighting installations in Horsham.
“These sorts of activities should have been suspended months ago when the first round of COVID-19 restrictions were introduced. The fact they weren’t was an oversight that increased the health risks for people in our region, and could have led to disastrous consequences,” she said.
“We are all doing our best to follow restrictions, so it’s completely wrong that people were allowed to travel from Melbourne or other areas to our doorsteps and potentially spread COVID-19 into our community.
“I thank local residents for their vigilance and for sharing information about door-to-door sellers to help push for this practice to be suspended in our communities. 
“I am also grateful to those community members who reported the disgraceful illegal dumping associated with the VEU program in our area, when lightbulbs and showerheads were found dumped at Dimboola and Nhill earlier this month.
“Local people should not have to tolerate such blatant disregard for their community, and I hope those responsible are held to account.”
The Essential Services Commission is investigating the dumping.
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