Coroner's Act In the Matter of the Coroner's Findings and Recommendations into the death of Briony Anne Goodsell pursuant to section 46B dated 30 August 2010
Tabled paper 982
Tabled papers for 11th Assembly 2008 - 2012; Tabled papers; ParliamentNT
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managed and controlled by the Northern Territory Parks and Wildlife Commission. The Reserve is part of the responsibility of the Chief District Ranger for the Arnhem Wetlands District, Barry Scott, who gave evidence before me. At each access gate at the time there was a sign indicating Access by Permit Only. Permits are granted for scientific research. Patrolling for and responding to reports of illegal entry into the Reserve are part of ranger responsibilities. The usual illegal entry is by hunters (in vehicles) or by recreational vehicle users who damage fences and gates to gain entry to the Reserve. There was no reference on the sign to crocodile activity. Parks and Wildlife were certainly aware of crocodile activity in the wet. season within the Reserve, which includes part of the Adelaide River floodplain. However, Barry Scott gave evidence, which I accept, that he (as the Chief Ranger responsible for the Reserve for the past 9 years) was not aware, either directly or indirectly, that people were swimming at or near the Reserve. The evidence from the Department was that the risk assessment carried out on Black Jungle Reserve led to the conclusion that the chance of interaction between crocodiles and people in Black Jungle Reserve was low, due to the fact that public access was prohibited, and that the Department did not know about the swimming. 11. t) ) 12- After a short time on the public side of the fence the children decided to go further downstream to another similar crossing, located just inside the Reserve. This involved going through a wire boundary fence and walking a short distance along the creek bank to another creek crossing; this one with a deeper but less fast flowing pool of water. The water levels were high and the creek was flowing fast. All of the adults (police, rangers and neighbours) who saw the creek that afternoon said that they would not have gone into the water under those conditions due to the risk of drowning. However, children do not always appreciate the dangers that adults see, and as the Officer in Charge of the coronial investigation said:
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