Craig Warhurst/The Daily

The quest for answers at insulation Royal Commission

THE families of three young Queenslanders who were killed during the rollout of the botched home insulation scheme will begin their quest for answers next week.

Queenslanders Matthew Fuller, 25, Reuben Barnes, 16, and Mitchell Sweeney, 22, were all electrocuted as a result of the controversial "pink batts" scheme established by the former Rudd government in 2009 to help stimulate the national economy during the global financial crisis.

New South Welshman Marcus Wilson, 19, also died as a result of the scheme.

The program has been widely criticised for being poorly implemented and rushed in its eventual rollout.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced there would be a Royal Commission into the botched scheme shortly after winning office last year.

The Royal Commission into the Home Insulation Scheme officially opened in December last year, but the first public hearings will commence on Monday in Brisbane.

Respected Queensland barrister Ian Hanger has been appointed to head-up the commission.

The commission has been tasked to investigate a range of issues including the process by which the Australian Government made decisions about the establishment and implementation of the program, whether it had sufficient regard for risks and whether it dealt with warnings or information about risks adequately.

It will also look at whether the deaths of Mr Fuller, Mr Barnes, Mr Sweeney and Mr Wilson could have been avoided if the Australian Government had taken a different approach to identifying, assessing or managing workplace health and safety risks.

A witness list has been released for the first two weeks of the hearings, but does not include ministers from the Labor Cabinet namely Kevin Rudd, Julia Gillard, Peter Garrett, Lindsay Tanner, Penny Wong, Greg Combet, Mark Arbib and Wayne Swan.

There has been speculation the former ministers will use cabinet privileges to avoid fronting the commission.

The hearings are expected to last five weeks.


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