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Appointment of part-time coroners a welcome relief - Chief Coroner

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Chief Coroner Judge Deborah Marshall has welcomed the funding of eight part-time relief coroners in the Government’s latest Budget announcement.

The Government has pledged $7.5 million over four years to fund eight part-time coroners and the support staff needed to fulfil the role.

"This is welcome news for our coronial services team," Judge Marshall says. "This will enable us to reduce the increasing backlog of coronial cases and also ensure our coroners and staff - who already work long and demanding hours - can work in a more sustainable manner."

The backlog of caseloads has increased from 3,150 in 2014/15 to 4,089 in 2017/18. The average time to close a coronial case has also increased from 311 days in 2016/17 to 345 days in 2017/18.

Currently, along with managing their individual caseloads, full-time coroners share the role of Duty Coroner - a rotating responsibility that continues 24 hours a day, seven days a week, dealing with sudden deaths around the country.

"Reducing the workload for existing coroners gives them the chance to focus on what’s before them and close cases that have been open for a long time," Judge Marshall says. "I’m pleased that we’ll be able to give grieving families a quicker outcome as a result."

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