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Laine Clark and Fraser Barton

New forensic lab inquiry delving deeper into Project 13

A 2022 inquiry found many DNA samples at the state-run forensic lab were not tested. (David Crosling/AAP PHOTOS)

Concerns raised by an independent scientist have convinced Queensland Health Minister Shannon Fentiman to launch another inquiry into DNA testing at the state's beleaguered forensic lab.

The six-week review will start on Thursday, looking at claims about automated DNA extraction methods known as Project 13.

Ms Fentiman made the call after meeting with a key witness at the initial 2022 probe into the lab's botched testing regime, forensic scientist Kirsty Wright.

She said Dr Wright produced a number of documents outlining concerns about Project 13 she believed had not been addressed.

"We will be holding a fresh commission of inquiry to look thoroughly and transparently at criticisms and allegations raised by Dr Wright about Project 13," Ms Fentiman said.

"If we have missed some really important facts when it came to Project 13 ...  then we're going to leave no stone unturned now."

Retired Federal Court judge Annabelle Bennett will conduct the new inquiry after it was revealed almost 40,000 cases dating back to 2007 were impacted by a DNA testing bungle.

The damning 2022 inquiry headed by Walter Sofronoff KC found many DNA samples went untested and the lab incorrectly ruled others "insufficient".

Police have since held a review and found another 7000 cases were impacted, taking the total to 37,000.

They include samples affected under Project 13's automated DNA extraction method introduced in October 2007.

Dr Wright has been vocal about her concerns over Project 13 and an investigation into the 2013 death of young Mackay woman Shandee Blackburn.

Ms Fentiman said the inquiry's terms of reference would allow Dr Bennett to review the documents shared by Dr Wright and call on Project 13 scientists to give evidence.

"The commissioner has very wide powers about who she can compel to give evidence to get to the bottom of what really happened," she said.

The opposition led calls for the 2022 probe to be reopened following the rise in affected cases.

Ms Fentiman said Dr Wright had raised concerns about a perceived conflict of interest if the inquiry was reopened under Mr Sofronoff who is acting as co-chair of the board overseeing the 123 recommendations from the 2022 probe.

"Given that she (Dr Wright) is the one raising these allegations and she has expressed ... a lack of trust in the board to be able to do this independently, I've taken those concerns seriously and I do believe a fresh commission of inquiry is best," she said.

Dr Bennett will hold public hearings, call witnesses and review statements, documents and the previous probe's recommendations.

Her final report and recommendations are to be completed by November 17.

Ms Fentiman said almost $200 million had already been committed to implementing the last inquiry's recommendations, with 34 completed and 68 under way.

Opposition leader David Crisafulli said Queenslanders deserved a forensic lab that could ensure "justice in this state is done".

"The way this has unfolded has been deeply disappointing," he said.

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