Lack of money for Coroner’s Court leaves families with unanswered questions into deaths

Janet Fife-Yeomans

INQUESTS into suspicious deaths are not being held and families left with unanswered questions about loved ones because of a lack of money for the NSW Coroner’s Court, The Daily Telegraph has revealed.

Chronic underfunding means grieving families are hurting and police investigations are grinding to a halt, a parliamentary committee has been told.

Former State Coroner Michael Barnes said the situation was so dire the coronial jurisdiction cannot afford to hold all the inquests it should.

At $5.8 million last year, NSW gets less than half the funding of Victoria ($12.8 million) and just over half that of Queensland ($10.3 million).

The NSW Police, the Police Association and the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission (LECC), the new police watchdog, have all expressed “considerable concern”, the committee heard.

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