Rueben Barnes was among those killed while working on the home insulation program.
Rueben Barnes was among those killed while working on the home insulation program. Supplied

Royal Commission into insulation scheme launched

THE Royal Commission into the Rudd government's home insulation scheme has issued 76 summonses to witnesses to give evidence or turn over documents in the high-level probe.

Commissioner Ian Hanger officially opened his investigation into the failed scheme today in Brisbane.
He vowed to find answers as yet uncovered by coronial inquests and other inquiries into the stimulus program.

"My aim is to find answers to the questions unresolved in previous inquiries," he said.

"What really went wrong? What made it go wrong? And how can this commission assist government and industry to ensure that circumstances like the ones we face here do not happen again?"

Four men Matthew Fuller, Rueben Barnes, Mitchell Sweeney and Marcus Wilson died during the controversial rollout in 2009 and 2010.

It is believed former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and former Environment Minister Peter Garrett will be called to give evidence.

Counsel assisting the commission Keith Wilson said the commission's deadline for reporting in June was tight but achievable.

He said witnesses summonsed would be obliged to give evidence, but he hoped the commission would not regularly need to use its "armoury" of coercive powers to compel people to do so.

Mr Hanger adjourned the commission until further public hearings that are expected to be held in March and April.

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