The government is promising to heed recommendations in a report into Labor’s pink batts program, but some believe compensation should be considered.
The reputations of former Labor ministers have been trashed in a report into the botched home insulation scheme, a lawyer says.
Gold Coast lawyer Bill Potts represents the Barnes family, whose 16-year-old son Reuben died just 21 days after starting as an insulation installer, in November 2009.
Reuben was the second of four men who died working on the scheme before it was hastily shut down in early 2010.
Mr Potts says the royal commission report into the scheme, released on Monday, has trashed the reputations of senior Labor figures.
“It’s been trashed for good reasons, because young men died and that should never have happened,” Mr Potts told reporters in Brisbane.
He likened public servants rolling out the program to the crew of the Titanic.
“Too frightened, in essence, to call out ‘iceberg ahead’. The reason for that is that they were told ‘get this done and get it done quickly’,” he said.
Lawyer Aaron Anderson said his clients Kevin and Christine Fuller, who’s son Matthew died under the scheme, would be pleased the report addressed a number of their key concerns.
“Kevin and Christine will be working closely with the commonwealth government to make sure these recommendations, particularly those that were causative of Matthew Fuller’s death, are addressed in a timely manner,” he said.
Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt promised to heed those recommendations.
“We are sorry for the errors that led to these tragedies. Nothing can bring these beautiful young men back but we can and we will learn the lessons,” he told parliament.
When asked if the families deserved compensation, Queensland Premier Newman said it was time to consider it.
“They’ve got every right to just feel so terribly wronged,” he told reporters in Brisbane.
“I think these sort of things now need to be looked at.”