Rudd told to front up to Pink Batts Scheme inquiry

FORMER prime minister Kevin Rudd is being called on to give evidence at a judicial inquiry into the failed pink batts scheme that claimed the life of Griffith's Mitchell Sweeney.

The draft terms of reference for the inquiry which is due to be finalised by June 30 next year were revealed at the weekend and include what steps the government could have taken to avoid the four tragic deaths.

Twenty-two-year-old Mitchell was electrocuted when a metal staple gun pierced a live cable at a home outside Cairns and caused the insulation to become energised.

He had just moved to Cairns for three months to work as a roof insulation installer the workplace accident in February 2010.

Marcus Wilson, Matthew Fuller and Rueben Barnes also died while working on jobs funded by the capital spending program at the height of the global financial crisis.

Yesterday, Treasurer Joe Hockey said the inqury should include witnesses from the senior ranks of the Rudd government, including Rudd himself.

"I don't think anyone should be excluded from providing full and frank and honest evidence in front of a judicial inquiry," Mr Hockey said.

According to reports, the draft terms of reference for the inquiry call for a full explanation of the then government's decisions about the $2.8 billion program.

"The judicial commission is to be conducted in such a manner as to enable the families of the deceased tradesmen and all others who have suffered loss and damage (to get) the maximum transparency and access to information disclosed by the evidence before it," the terms of reference say.

The ten terms of reference include:

- The process and basis of government decisions while establishing the program, including risk assessment and risk management;

- Whether the death of the four men could have been avoided;

- What if any advice or undertakings given by the government to the industry were inaccurate or deficient, and;

- What steps the government should have taken to avoid the tragedies.

If Mr Rudd is called it is almost certain that his then environment minister Peter Garrett will also be called to give evidence and former senator Mark Arbib who was parliamentary secretary to the minister and worked on designing and delivering the program.

A spokeswoman for Mr Rudd said he had no comment.

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