Families who lose loved ones in unexpected or unexplained circumstances will get the answers they need sooner under planned changes to the Coroners Act 2009, Member for Tweed Geoff Provest said today.

Mr Provest said Health Minister Brad Hazzard and Attorney General Mark Speakman had introduced proposals in NSW Parliament that aim to avoid unnecessary post mortem examinations.

“The proposed amendments could reduce the number of unnecessary referrals to the Coroner and improve timeframes of other coronial investigations,” Mr Provest said.

“The last thing grieving families want at such a difficult time is a drawn-out coronial process.

“The first amendment will remove the requirement to report a death to the Coroner where the deceased had not seen a doctor in the six months prior to death.

“Around 60 per cent of all cases reported to the NSW Coroner each year are the result of a natural death.

“The second amendment will allow a forensic pathologist to undertake preliminary examinations of deceased people without the need for a direction from the Coroner.”

The obligation under the Coroners Act 2009 to report unnatural, violent or suspicious deaths and sudden deaths from unknown causes will remain untouched.

Further opportunities for appropriate ways to improve the coronial process are currently being explored by a special Government taskforce.