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Annual Report 2020-2021, Northern Territory Child Deaths Review and Prevention Committee, Office of the Coroner



Annual Report 2020-2021, Northern Territory Child Deaths Review and Prevention Committee, Office of the Coroner

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Tabled Paper 430


Tabled Papers for 14th Assembly 2020 -; Tabled Papers; ParliamentNT




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory under Standing Order 240. Where copyright subsists with a third party it remains with the original owner and permission may be required to reuse the material.




Tabled papers

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

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1 Northern Territory Child Deaths Review and Prevention Committee Annual Report 2020-21 Foreword This is the thirteenth Annual Report of the Northern Territory Child Deaths Review and Prevention Committee (the Committee). The report is based on information provided to the Committee on the 46 deaths of children whose usual place of residence is the NT and of 32 stillbirths that occurred during the calendar year 2020. The report also provides summary information on 210 child and infant deaths that occurred in the five-year period 2016-2020. This report is the fourth to be produced by the Northern Territory Office of the Coroner who has responsibility for the Secretariat of the Committee. The death of any child is a tragedy and the members of the Committee extend their sincere condolences to the family, friends and communities of the children and young people cited in this report. In highlighting the circumstances relating to these deaths and by conducting research based on identified patterns and trends, the Committees objective is to effect change that will prevent and reduce child deaths, accidents and diseases in the Northern Territory. In addition to providing an analysis of the child and infant deaths that occurred during 2020 and the preceding four years, this report provides information on injury related child deaths released by the Committee and tabled in Parliament. This year saw the resignation of myself as Convenor (continue as a member), Ms Christine Fitzgerald as a Committee member and Ms Jeanette Kerr as the Deputy Convenor. We also welcomed the appointment of Ms Sally Sievers, Acting Childrens Commission as a member and the appointment of Ms Jeanette Kerr as Convenor. Currently nominations are being sought from the Chief Executive Office of the Department of Attorney-General and Justice for the appoint of a Deputy Convenor. Reporting on a significant event and government agency response After a tragic case of drowning in 2019, the Committee reviewed deaths by drownings in domestic swimming pools (small premises). Between 2007 and 2020 two cases were identified as requiring compliance fencing and four cases were identified as occurring on properties larger than 1.8 hectares (large premises), which do not require compliance fencing. Under the Swimming Pool Safety Act 2004 (Act) owners of pools, which require an interim compliance certificate, a compliance certificate and compliance fencing are responsible for notifying DIPL of the pool or their intention to construct a pool. The Committee wrote to DIPL to seek advice regarding community understanding of pool owners responsibilities, encouraging the enforcement of the inspectorate function and enforcement of the legislation. DIPL response The Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics (DIPL) is responsible for swimming pool safety compliance and enforcement under the Act and the most recent prosecution under the Act was in 2010 by the former Department of Housing, Local Government and Regional Services which at that time administered the Act. A response was received from the Chief Executive, Mr Andrew Kirkman to the effect of The Act established that an owner of a residential property under 1.8 hectares with a new pool must hold a compliance certificate and owners who want to make themselves aware of the pool barrier obligation can use the following resources: https://nt.gov.au/property/homeowners-andlandlords/pool-or-spa/install-a-pool-or-spa Community engagements events such as Splashfest provide the opportunity for owners/ - https://nt.gov.au/property/homeowners-and-landlords/pool-or-spa/install-a-pool-or-spa - https://nt.gov.au/property/homeowners-and-landlords/pool-or-spa/install-a-pool-or-spa

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