Girl's showride death inquest won’t probe dropped charges
The long-awaited inquest into the death of an eight-year-old girl thrown from a ride at the Royal Adelaide Show will not address why the safety company that inspected the ride was not prosecuted, the coroner's court has heard.
During a directions hearing on Wednesday ahead of the opening of the inquest later this month, counsel assisting the coroner Sally Giles said the scope of the inquest would be broad.
However, she confirmed to deputy coroner Ian White the hearings would not touch on the question of how decisions were made to prosecute individuals or companies - or not.
The decision to drop criminal negligence charges against a safety inspection company were triggers for an ICAC-led evaluation into SafeWork SA, the body responsible for prosecuting workplace safety breaches.
Adelene Leong died in September 2014 when she was thrown more than 10m from the Airmaxx 360 ride while on a holiday in Australia from her home in Malaysia.
The circumstances surrounding her death were investigated by SafeWork SA with charges laid against the company that owned the ride, C J And Sons Amusement, and one of its directors, Jenny-Lee Sullivan.
Both were fined in the Employment Tribunal after entering pleas of guilty to charges of failing to maintain the ride.
However, charges against Queensland-based company Safe is Safe Pty Ltd, which evaluated the Airmaxx 360, and its boss Hamish Munro were dropped by SafeWork SA. It was alleged the company failed to properly inspect the ride before it was certified for use.
Then-Independent Commission Against Corruption Bruce Lander QC launched an evaluation of SafeWork in the wake of the charges being dropped. Ms Giles said the inquest would look into the circumstances of the accident as well as the maintenance, staffing and safety history of the Airmaxx 360.
Other elements include the response of emergency services, the regulatory framework for approving rides and what further action can be taken to prevent similar issues in the future.
"I want to make it clear at this stage what will not be explored at the inquest is any decision made prior to the inquest to, or not to, prosecute parties involved in this matter," Ms Giles said.
Mr White also heard that Adelene's mother Kim Neo Ng would play a limited role in the inquest, but would be monitoring if from Malaysia.
Originally published as Showride death inquest won't probe dropped charges