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

Compensation for families of men killed in pink batts scheme

THE families of three young Queenslanders and a young New South Wales man, who died working on the Rudd government's failed home insulation scheme, will be compensated.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Tuesday told Federal Parliament of his government's "interim response" to the royal commission into the deaths.

The response comes a month after the commission's report, which found the scheme was rushed and led indirectly to the four men's deaths.

Mr Abbott told parliament the families and next of kin of the four men - Reuben Barnes, Mitchell Sweeney, Marcus Wilson and Matthew Fuller - would get some sort of compensation.

He also said "large and small" home insulation businesses that existed before the scheme would be compensated for losses due to a fall in demand after the deaths.

Environment Minister Greg Hunt was tasked with delivering the government's responses, and he will work with other Cabinet ministers to deliver the compensation.

Mr Abbott said although nothing could bring the young men back, he wanted the families to know the government took responsibility and hoped to "make amends".

Mr Hunt will also be tasked with bringing in an "independent expert" to review the commission's findings, and "examine the role of ministers and officials" in the scheme.

Despite several coronial investigations and the royal commission, Mr Abbott said tasking another expert to examine the issues was not a "witch-hunt" against former Labor figures linked to the program.

- APN NEWSDESK



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