MP SUPPORTS LAW CHANGES TO SPEED UP CORONERS PROCESS

Friday, 23 August 2019

FAMILIES in the Northern Tablelands who lose loved ones in unexpected or unexplained circumstances will get the answers they need sooner under planned changes to the Coroners Act 2009, Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall announced today.

 

Health Minister Brad Hazzard and Attorney General Mark Speakman introduced the reforms in State Parliament this week, which aim to avoid unnecessary post mortem examinations.

 

Mr Marshall said the changes would greatly benefit grieving families in the region.

 

“Over several years I have received multiple calls and emails from distraught families who have had to wait long periods for their deceased loved ones to be released for burial following a post mortem,” Mr Marshall said.

 

“This proposed amendment will reduce the number of unnecessary referrals to the Coroner and improve timeframes of other coronial investigations.

 

“The first amendment will remove the requirement to report a death to the Coroner where the deceased had not seen a doctor in the six months prior to death.

 

“A second amendment will allow a forensic pathologist to undertake preliminary examinations of deceased people without the need for a direction from the Coroner.”

 

Mr Marshall said the last thing grieving families wanted at such a difficult time was a drawn-out coronial process.

 

“Our region deserve a more expedited process so families and friends can have the closure they need sooner and can lay their loved ones to rest,” he said.

 

“I support these amendments and hope they are a positive step forward in easing the pain currently experienced by hundreds of families every year.”

 

The obligation under the Coroners Act 2009 to report unnatural, violent or suspicious deaths and sudden deaths from unknown causes will remain.

 

Further opportunities for appropriate ways to improve the coronial process are currently being explored by a special NSW Government taskforce.

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