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‘Torturous never-ending wait’: Coroner delays cause angst amongst families

Liam Bartlett
Article image for ‘Torturous never-ending wait’: Coroner delays cause angst amongst families

WA families are having to wait an average of 16.4 days for bodies to be released for funerals due to a delay in processing at the coroner’s office.

A government spokesperson admits the wait is longer than usual and efforts are underway to resolve the issue.

Michelle’s friends were forced to wait three weeks before they could bury their loved one, after he passed away following a lengthy cancer battle.

“The stress it put my friend and her beautiful family under was outrageous, this kind of torturous never-ending wait,” she said.

“They have just lost sight of the fact that they are dealing with individuals who have lost loved ones, and now it’s become like a piece of paper that they need to process.”

She said it wasn’t until 6PR spoke to the coroner’s office that the family had their paperwork processed.

“It wasn’t until you started asking questions that it all got resolved.”

Australian Funeral Directors Association president Adrian Barratt said the industry identified a lack of staff during a review in 2017 and it still hasn’t been fixed.

“I don’t think the resources have matched the increase in reportable deaths to the coroner to allow a timely release,” he said.

“It is a lack of resources that they have been given to be able to do their job effectively in a timely manner.”

Press PLAY to hear the government’s response 

(Photo: iStock by Getty Images.) 

Liam Bartlett
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