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Coronial Inquest

Adjourned debate on motion of J.A. Darley:

That this council calls on the Attorney-General to order, pursuant to section 21(1)(b) of the Coroners Act, a coronial inquest into the circumstances surrounding the death of Stefan Woodward and provide appropriate and adequate resources as required by the Coroner to carry out the inquest.

(Continued from 9 December 2015)

The Hon. G.E. GAGO ( 17:27 :23 ): I rise on behalf of the government to oppose this motion of the Hon. John Darley. Stefan Woodward passed away on Saturday 5 December 2015, after allegedly consuming illicit substances at the Stereosonic Music Festival. This is a tragic case that highlights the terrible effect that dangerous party drugs have upon innocent families in our community. The government remains committed in the fight against these harmful substances and ensuring that drug traffickers are caught and removed from the community so that they cannot cause further harm.

However, in this case the Attorney-General has been advised by the State Coroner that he has not yet received a copy of the post-mortem report or the SAPOL investigation report. The SAPOL investigation report is not due until later this year. The State Coroner will not be able to determine whether an inquest is necessary or desirable until these reports have been received.

This motion is unnecessary at this point of time and inappropriate. There are procedures in place that deal with the matter, and it is appropriate to allow this important proper process to take place in due time and to allow the State Coroner time to make his assessments of the evidence. On this basis, the government opposes this motion.

The Hon. A.L. McLACHLAN ( 17:29 :00 ): I speak on behalf of my Liberal Party colleagues in respect of this motion. If the Hon. John Darley is going to proceed with this motion today, having regard to what the government spokesperson has said the Liberal Party will support the motion. We acknowledge the pain the young man's family has endured after the death of this young man and, having regard to the particular circumstances surrounding the death, we think that the motion has some merit. There are many deaths as a result of tragic circumstances, and these particular circumstances outlined by the Hon. Mr Darley indicate that the death should be subject to an inquest. I conclude my remarks.

The Hon. J.A. DARLEY ( 17:29 :57 ): First of all, I would like to thank the Hon. Gail Gago and the Hon. Andrew McLachlan for their contributions. I commend the motion to the house.

Motion carried.