Coroner needs additional resources

The State Liberals are calling for the Weatherill Government to provide the Coroner with the additional resources necessary to enable the investigation of a series of outstanding cases including the several sudden deaths at the Oakden mental health facility.

“It is outrageous that the Coroner is being prevented from looking at a series of critical cases due to a lack of money,” said Shadow Attorney-General Vickie Chapman.

“I’m concerned the Weatherill Government is starving the Coroner’s Court of the resources necessary to conduct sensitive cases in an effort to minimise the political damage likely to flow from these investigations.

“The growing scandal at the Oakden mental health facility desperately needs a proper investigation and the Coroner has a vital role in that process. 

“Too many concerns about the quality of care provided at Oakden have emerged for the Coroner not to begin an investigation.

“It is scandalous that the deaths of Graziella Dailler and Jorge Castillo-Riffo in 2014 are yet to be considered by the Coroner due to a lack of resources.

“Indeed the Premier promised Mr Castillo-Riffo’s patner that his death will be looked at by the Coroner yet he has failed to provide the necessary additional resources.

“Jay Weatherill can find millions of dollars at the drop of a hat to fund political advertising designed to prop up his ailing Government. 

“Yet funding for the Coroner’s Court has gone from $6,488,000 in 2013-14 to just $6,811,000 this financial year.

“In real terms the Coroner’s Court has been working with a reduced budget during the last four years.

“We simply have to look at how important the Coroner’s investigation of Chloe Valentine’s death was in exposing the dysfunction in Families SA to understand the critical importance of the Coroner’s Court.”