Hansard of the Legislative Council

Thursday 24 May 2018
Coroners Prevention Unit, Victoria - Tasmanian Equivalent


[2.48 p.m.]

Given the vital role of coroners in reducing preventable deaths in Tasmania - 

    (1)  Does Tasmania have an equivalent of Victoria's Coroners Prevention Unit - CPU?  As the minister is no           doubt aware, Victoria's unit brings the work of coroners' teams together to look at fatal trends and           recommends ways to alleviate them. 

    (2)  If Tasmania does not have the equivalent of Victoria's Coroners Prevention Unit, how is the important           work of coroners given maximum effect?
          Mr President, I thank the member for Rosevears for his question. 

    (1)  Tasmania does not have an equivalent of Victoria's Coroners Protection Unit; however, it is clear           coroners play a vital role in reducing preventable deaths in Tasmania.

    (2)  The equivalent functions of the CPU are undertaken by staff of the Coronial Division at the direction of           the Coroner.  Through the important work of the coroners themselves, the member would be aware           that where the Coroner makes findings and recommendations that pertain to government functions in           Tasmania, the Government will carefully consider any such findings and recommendations and           implement changes accordingly. 

          As an example, I draw the honourable member's attention to the findings handed down by the           Coroner on 30 June 2017 in relation to the deaths of three people in the custody of the Tasmania           Prison Service in 2015.  After the Coroner's report was handed down, careful consideration was given           to the Coroner's findings and recommendations, with all 10 recommendations relating directly to the           TPS being supported in principle.  Three of the recommendations have been fully implemented by the           TPS, while the other seven are in progress and are being treated as a high priority. 

          Action was promptly taken; for example, to improve the management of suicide and self‑harm risk           during prisoner transport through a review of the seatbelts used in the prisoner escort vehicles, and           subsequent replacement of the seatbelts in Hobart and Launceston escort vehicles.