23 February 2012

Christmas Island tragedy Coronial Inquiry

The Australian Government today acknowledged the findings of the Coronial Inquiry in the Christmas Island tragedy which occurred on 15 December 2010.

50 people died in the tragedy. The Australian Defence Force noted that if was not for the bravery of Customs and Border Protection officers, Defence personnel, officers from other Commonwealth agencies and community members involved in the rescue many more people would have died. Their actions went above and beyond the call of duty and saved the lives of 42 people.

The Coroner’s Inquiry is the fourth review held of the tragedy.

The day after the tragedy the Prime Minister announced a review of the incident would be conducted by the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service.

The review report was released on 24 January 2011.

It made eight recommendations, seven of which are now complete.

Implementation of the eighth recommendation – a trial of a land based radar surveillance system – is underway.

On 2 March 2011 the Australian Parliament established a Joint Select Committee on the Christmas Island Tragedy to examine the events surrounding the tragedy.

The Committee made three key recommendations, all of which have been implemented which included monitoring the well-being of survivors and the personnel involved in the rescue efforts and exploring an option for a permanent memorial.

Individual committee members made nine other recommendations of which seven were agreed. These have all been implemented or are underway.

The Christmas Island Emergency Management Committee also conducted a review and made 21 recommendations of which 16 were agreed to in whole or part.

Of these 11 have been implemented and the remaining five are nearing completion according to the ADF.

A table detailing the implementation of the recommendations from these three reviews can be found here.

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