News

Family kept waiting on the cause of their son's death

TRAGEDY: The Garrels family (from left) Lee, Michael, Georgia, Lachlan and Gemma outside Mackay Courthouse after an investigation into the death of Jason Garrels.
TRAGEDY: The Garrels family (from left) Lee, Michael, Georgia, Lachlan and Gemma outside Mackay Courthouse after an investigation into the death of Jason Garrels.

MICHAEL and Lee Garrels are still waiting for answers on the workplace death of their son, Jason, who was electrocuted more than two years ago at Clermont in North Queensland.

The parents have since moved to Gympie, finding it too painful to remain in Clermont after Jason was killed, just short of his 21st birthday, on February 27, 2012.

Jason was nine days into his new job as a trades assistant for Daytona Trading Pty Ltd.

THE wheels of justice have ground slowly for the Garrels, who found the Building Services Authority was still unaware of the tragedy almost 17 months later.

Daytona has been accused of failing to discharge an electrical safety obligation and yesterday lost a lengthy fight to have the charge dropped.

The Mackay Industrial Magistrates Court last December dismissed an application by the company to have the charge struck out or to have "further and better particulars provided".

An appeal against that decision was partly dismissed by Industrial Court president Justice Glenn Martin, who upheld the legitimacy of the charge but ordered the additional information be provided.

Subcontracting electrical company Cold Spark Pty Ltd pleaded guilty to failing in a safety obligation and was fined $90,000 plus costs and with no conviction recorded.

The court heard that Cold Spark director Nathan Brian Day knew there was a problem, but that the area where Jason was working had not been isolated from the power source to the unit block switchboard he was working on.

Jason's family has since relocated to Gympie, finding it too painful to remain in Clermont after his death.

Father Michael Garrels said he and wife, Lee, were happy Justice Martin upheld the original decision not to strike out the charge but didn't understand the need for more particulars.

In a decision published yesterday, Justice Martin said the request for further information concerned the principle that "a defendant is entitled to know what breaches are alleged".

Mr and Mrs Garrels have been campaigning to achieve changes to the Coroner's Act 2003, which states an official inquest cannot begin until all other legal proceedings have been finalised.

Gympie Times

Topics:  editors picks, electrocution, insulation scheme, jason garrels




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

‘Now are you listening?’ Dairy farmers protest govt neglect

PARLIAMENT PROTEST: Farmers get their message out in Brisbane yesterday.

Gympie farmers join regional protest to save their industry

Five things to do in the Gympie region this weekend

Judy Ferguson from New Zealand and Angela Brown from Brisbane at last year’s Goomeri Pumpkin Festival.

Here are five things for kids, adults and the whole family.

WATCH: Man hoses down neighbour engulfed by flames

QAS paramedics treat Gayndah man after couch goes up in flames.

Gayndah man in a critical condition

Latest deals and offers


10 Things You Absolutely Have to do in Gympie in Autumn

NUMBER 7: Go beach camping at Inskip Point this autumn and you can watch the whales off Rainbow Beach or Double Island Point.

10 Things You Absolutely Have to do in the Gympie region in Autumn

Sale nears on last large block of land in Coolum

The 43.37ha property on South Coolum Rd has sold.

South Coolum Rd property to be land banked

Caloundra’s former Centrepoint Buffet site up for sale

FOR SALE: The home of the old Centrepoint Buffet

Restaurant fined for unhygienic practices closed months ago