On this day in 2009, the lead paint industry was reeling from a coronavirus pandemic that had swept through the industry.
Lead paint, a chemical used to produce some of the world’s most iconic vehicles, was being phased out across the globe.
But there was one problem: the Australian Government was only doing its bit by encouraging the use of paint remover and water to remove the lead.
The Government, with little support from the industry, didn’t think there was much point in paying for the remover as it was.
“The paint industry is going through a lot of challenges at the moment, and it’s hard to come up with the cash to keep up with demand,” Dr David Rourke said.
“So I think the best thing to do is to look at what the cost of doing the job will be.”
To help determine the cost, Dr Rourke’s team ran a cost-benefit analysis.
Using the data, they found that if the Government continued to encourage paint removers, the cost per hour would be about $12.
“It’s a pretty big cost and we were really keen to make sure that it wasn’t an unnecessary expense,” Dr Ruckner said.
The paint removals were being done at a time when demand for lead paint was high.
It was an expensive job, and many of the vehicles in the industry were already out of stock.
“There’s a big difference between when the paint industry’s at peak demand and when it’s not, and that’s why we needed to look into what the actual cost was,” Dr Sorensen said.
What Dr Sorenson found was that if paint remOVERS were encouraged, the paint companies would pay for the work.
They would also pay a higher price for water and paint removing.
This would put the Government at a disadvantage.
But it didn’t have to be this way.
In fact, if the paint removal were funded, the Government would have to spend about $200,000 a year.
“If the paint company was getting paid a lot more than it was because of the removers, we could get a very competitive price,” Dr D’Arcy said.
Dr Davenport said it was important to look beyond the cost-benefits analysis, and to focus on the quality of the work being done.
“In our opinion, the best way to do it is to encourage the industry to use less paint,” he said.
To get a clearer picture of how well the Government was doing, Dr Darnport used a modelling tool called the Quality Assurance and Productivity Project (QAPPP) to test the performance of the Government’s paint remove program.
QAPPP is a model designed to show how long a program will take to produce a particular outcome.
It’s designed to take into account a range of factors, including the quality and number of paint suppliers in the market, the availability of paint in the community and whether or not there is a market for the paint in a given region.
QapPP looked at the performance for the lead removal program from December 2013 to December 2016.
“We did some basic modelling to see how long it would take for the program to reach the target, and we found that the paint removal program was actually producing about a year’s worth of lead paint,” Dr Dan Breen, QAPP program manager, said.
A quick look at the paint removeor market in Australia revealed there was already an existing paint removers business that could have a similar level of quality and value for money.
The government’s paint removal initiative was just one way to address this shortage.
Dr Soresen’s team has been working on other paint removes that would allow the Government to save money on the paint market.
One would be to introduce an online paint removal service, which would let users take the lead from the paint without leaving the vehicle.
But Dr Somesen said the cost to start with could be prohibitively high.
“You would need to go out of your way to pay for it,” he says.
And then you’d need to pay to get the paint removed, which is a lot.”