The family of Mitchell Sweeney, who was electrocuted while installing insulation under a Rudd government scheme, has welcomed a promise of compensation.
The family of a young Queenslander who died installing roof insulation under a Rudd government scheme has welcomed news they’ll be compensated for their pain and suffering.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Tuesday said the grieving families of four installers who died would be compensated and disciplinary action considered against bureaucrats linked to Labor’s botched scheme.
Mitchell Sweeney was just 22 in February 2012, when he became the last of the four to die before the program was shut down.
He was electrocuted while laying insulation sheeting in a ceiling cavity at a home at Millaa Millaa in north Queensland.
The Sweeney family has welcomed Mr Abbott’s compensation commitment, alongside promised safety reviews they hope will protect other families from future tragedies.
“Obviously, we still need to work through the details of any compensation arrangement, but the fact that the federal government have indicated they will be discussing options for compensation is very welcome,” the family’s lawyer Peter Koutsoukis said in a statement.
“No amount of compensation will ever bring Mitchell back, but the recognition by the government that Mitchell’s death was avoidable is greatly appreciated by the Sweeney family.”
Ian Hanger, who led a royal commission into the botched scheme, found the deaths of all four installers were avoidable.
He recommended the public service commissioner consider action against the senior bureaucrats involved, who by law must act with “care and diligence”.
Mr Abbott has also promised to discuss possible changes to workplace safety laws with state and territory leaders at the next Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting in Canberra on October 10.
Mr Koutsoukis said the Sweeney family was also very happy about that.
“For the Sweeney family, the most important thing is ensuring that no other family has to go through what they have suffered and that lessons are learned from this tragedy,” he said.