Two new Coroners to boost court

Published Thursday, 02 May, 2024 at 02:50 PM

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence
The Honourable Yvette D'Ath

  • Megan Fairweather and Amanda Bain announced as new coroners.
  • Appointments part of $34 million injection into coronial services.

The Miles Government has delivered on its Budget promise to bolster coronial services with the appointment of two new coroners.

Former Chief Legal Counsel for Queensland Health, Megan Fairweather, and barrister Amanda Bain will take up their roles with the busy Coroners Court of Queensland on 7 May 2024.

The appointments are part of a $34 million injection over the next four years to ensure the Coroners Court functions efficiently and effectively.

There has been almost a 30 per cent increase in reportable deaths handed to the Coroners Court over the past decade and, coupled with an additional temporary Coroner position being made permanent, these appointments will address the increased workload.

Magistrate Fairweather led Queensland Health’s legal branch and throughout her tenure oversaw a range of critical legal work across complex commercial, clinical and coronial matters.

Prior to that, as a Special Counsel at Minter Ellison, Ms Fairweather acted on behalf of private and public entities at multiple high profile and sensitive inquests.

Magistrate Bain has 20 years’ experience as a barrister with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, and Crown Law and since February 2024 has been at the private bar in Holmes Chambers.

Her Honour has conducted prosecutions across numerous jurisdictions and appeared at coronial inquests, appeals and applications.

Quotes attributable to Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Minister for the Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence, Yvette D’Ath:

“The new positions will help reduce backlogs, improve timeliness, and provide better delivery of trauma-informed services.

“Both Magistrate Fairweather and Magistrate Bain possess a broad, well-rounded understanding of the justice system and are highly deserving of their appointments.

“Coroners provide an invaluable service to the community – not just for grieving families but also for public safety.

“Their reports and recommendations can help prevent similar types of deaths occurring again, improving general safety.

“For these reasons, coroners carry a heavy responsibility and I know the two new coroners will undertake their tasks with the same astute level of professionalism as their peers.”