Gym ap­peal re­jected

Townsville Bulletin - - News - by Roanne John­son roanne. john­son@ townsville­bul­letin. com. au

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.

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