Royal Commission to put spotlight on Home Insulation Program

THE effects of the botched home insulation scheme that saw the death of Central Queenslander Reuben Barnes and three others working on the program will be key focus of a Royal Commission into the scheme.

Governor-General Quentin Bryce on Thursday officially signed the letters patent to establish the Royal Commission into the Home Insulation Program.

Despite a coronial inquest and several other investigations into the economic stimulus program having already concluded, the commission will re-examine the program and its effects.

Mr Barnes, of Rockhampton, and three others - Matthew Fuller, Mitchell Sweeney and Marcus Wilson - died while working on the national scheme.

Terms of reference for the commission have now been released, with a key focus on the effects of the program "on the families of the four young men and long-standing home insulation business".

It will also investigate the decision-making around the creation and implementation of the program, and any warnings or advice the previous Federal Government was given about it.

Governor-General Bryce has appointed QC Ian Hanger to lead the commission, with the first hearing to begin on Monday, December 23, this year.

That first hearing will consider applications from people for leave to appear as a witness during the Commission.

"Persons or organisations that have information that might assist this inquiry are encouraged to get in contact with the Office of the Royal Commission," Mr Hanger said.

Anyone who wants to have their application for leave to appear as a witness heard at the preliminary hearing needs to apply by 4pm on December 18, 2013.

More information about the Royal Commission can be found here.



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