Gym appeal rejected
TOWNSVILLE Gymnastics Association’s appeal over an Industrial Court ruling into the death of a teenage gymnast has been dismissed – leaving the way open for a possible coronial inquest.
The not-for-profit club will now have no option but to pay the $ 70,000 fine they were handed down after the guilty verdict was this week upheld by the Industrial Registry.
Magistrate Ross Mack last year found the association had breached its obligations and not provided enough safety mats around the apparatus Michelle Maitland was using in June, 2009.
The 19-year-old died from head injuries when she struck exposed concrete floor after tumbling. Michelle’s mother Ann Maitland, who has led a campaign to ensure her daughter’s death was not in vain, said she was notified of the failed appeal yesterday by Workplace Health and Safety Queensland.
Ms Maitland said with the appeal no longer before the court, she hoped an inquest could be the next step and was now awaiting a phone call from northern Coroner Kevin Priestly.
However the Townsville Bulletin understands an inquest cannot be decided upon until a safety assessment currently under way into the State’s gymnastics clubs is finalised by Workplace Health and Safety Queensland, the Department of Sport and Recreation and Gymnastics Queensland.
The Townsville Gymnastics Association yesterday confirmed the failed appeal but declined to comment further.
However in a statement released last year, it was openly disgruntled about the guilty verdict after evidence was heard in the Industrial Court that the teen was affected by cannabis leading up to her death.