Kevin Rudd and Peter Garrett to appear before home insulation inquiry in May

Former prime minister Kevin Rudd and ex-Labor colleagues Peter Garrett and Greg Combet have been called to appear before the royal commission into their government's home insulation scheme next month.

Former frontbencher Mark Arbib, who helped co-ordinate stimulus spending during the global financial crisis, will also give evidence before the inquiry.

The royal commission has set aside a day of evidence each for Mr Rudd and Mr Garrett.

Mr Garrett, who was environment minister during the scheme's roll-out, will appear at Brisbane Magistrates Court on the day of the federal budget, May 13. Mr Rudd will appear on May 14.

Mr Combet, who was made responsible for winding up the scheme as then assistant climate change minister, will appear for a day's hearings on May 16.

Mr Rudd and Mr Garrett established the home insulation scheme in 2009 to boost economic activity during the financial crisis.

Four men died and hundreds of house fires broke out during the program's roll-out. The royal commission is investigating whether the deaths could have been prevented and whether the Rudd government ignored advice of potential safety risks.

Senior Environment Department bureaucrat Mary Wiley-Smith told the royal commission on its first day of hearings last month that she and a colleague were given two days to plan and cost the scheme.

Martin Bowles, former deputy secretary of the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, will also appear before the royal commission in May.

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