Griffith family welcome royal commission

THE family of a Griffith man who was killed while working on the Rudd government's home insulation scheme has welcomed the announcement of a royal commission on the program.

Mitchell Sweeney was just 22 when he died after being electrocuted while installing insulation for the scheme at a property in far north Queensland.

He was one of four young men, including Matthew Fuller, 25, Rueben Barnes, 16, and Marcus Wilson, 19, who were killed working on projects related to the bungled scheme.

The Sweeney family's lawyer, Peter Koutsoukis, said the commission should look at the role employers played in the tragedies.

"It is important that the commission also looks at the role of employers in the implementation of the scheme in the case of Mitchell Sweeney, there were significant failures on the part of his employer Titan Insulations to ensure he was operating in a safe work environment," he said.

"They could have taken simple inexpensive measures that would have prevented his death."

Titan Insulations was fined $100,000 for failing to conduct its business in a way that was electrically safe following Mr Sweeney's death.

Mr Sweeney's mother Wendy said the family hoped to travel to Brisbane for the first round of hearings on December 23.

The pink batts scheme has previously been the subject of a Queensland Coronial inquest, which found the federal government had failed to put adequate safeguards in place in its haste to get the ball rolling with the scheme.

Mr Koutsoukis said the Sweeney family hoped the outcomes of that inquest would be taken into account by the royal commission.

"The Sweeney family also welcome that the commission will take into account the findings of previous coronial inquests and inquiries and hope that some of the key recommendations from these will be adopted by the commission, in particular the mandatory installation of safety switches in all homes and a safety awareness campaign on working in roof spaces," he said.

People wishing to have their application for leave to appear as a witness heard at the preliminary hearing need to apply by 4pm on December 18.

More information about the royal commission and its terms of reference can be found at www.homeinsulationroyal

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