SEARCH FOR ANSWERS: The Garrels family (from left) Lee, Michael, Georgia, Lachlan and Gemma outside Mackay Courthouse want answers about the death of their son and brother Jason Garrels (inset).
SEARCH FOR ANSWERS: The Garrels family (from left) Lee, Michael, Georgia, Lachlan and Gemma outside Mackay Courthouse want answers about the death of their son and brother Jason Garrels (inset). Lee Constable

Red tape an ‘insult’ to family who lost son, brother

A FAMILY is one step closer to gaining answers behind the tragic death of a son and brother.

Jason Garrels, 20, was electrocuted on February 27, 2012 at a Clermont building site, nine days into starting his new job as a trades assistant.

Member for Dalrymple Shane Knuth tabled a petition signed by nearly 600 Clermont residents in Parliament on Thursday, calling for section 29 of the Coroner's Act 2003 to be repealed.

The section states that an official inquest cannot begin until all other legal proceedings have been finalised.

"Any answers families may achieve through an inquest are legally delayed for years through section 29," Mr Knuth said.

Jason's employer, Daytona Trading, is currently before the courts charged with failing to discharge an electrical safety obligation.

"It (the petition) was a good move, a big move and the right move," Jason's father Michael Garrels said.

"Being a community petition it was very powerful.

"It's the voice of the community as much as our family."

Mr Knuth, who knew Jason, said while section 29 was in place the Garrels family, as well as many others, wouldn't know the truth for years.

"This is an insult to the victims and their families," he said.

"At the very least, the coroner should have the right to call for an inquest whenever he sees fit."

Two and a half years after Jason's death, his family is still suffering from the pain of loss and still questioning what happened. They have since relocated to Gympie.

Mr Garrels also had launched an online petition which now had about 10,700 signatures, he said.

"We just wait and see what the Attorney-General's reply is... I know the section is under review," he said.


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