Former PM may have to front inquiry into Rocky man's death

FORMER Prime Minister Kevin Rudd may be forced to give evidence as part of a royal commission-style inquiry into the home insulation scheme that claimed the life of Rockhampton's Rueben Barnes.

News Limited has reported that insulation businesses that suffered heavy financial losses could also be paid compensation, as part of a wide-ranging probe.

Rueben, 16, was one of four people who died.

More than 200 house fires were also recorded.

A spokesman for Environment Minister Greg Hunt yesterday told The Morning Bulletin details of the inquiry were expected to be released soon.

"Certainly we are going ahead with this," the spokesman said. "In terms of the details we are still in consultation with the families.

"It's going to be sooner rather than later."

Draft terms of reference are currently being discussed with senior government figures keen to ensure Mr Rudd and former environment minister Peter Garrett are able to be compelled if necessary, News Corp reported.

Mr Garrett - who has retired from politics - was demoted in early 2010 for his part in overseeing the $2.4 billion home insulation scheme.



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