State’s roundtable into zip line tragedy praised


Howard Salkow

Senior Journalist

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Member for Cook, Cynthia Lui called for the roundtable after the tragic accident on the zip line attraction that left a man dead. Image: Newsport.

Douglas Shire Mayor Julia Leu today praised the State Government’s Emergency Services Roundtable to address a tragic accident that occurred at Jungle Surfing Canopy Tours last month.

On Tuesday, October 22, Dean Sanderson, 50, died when the zip line run by the company in the Daintree National Park in Far North Queensland broke, causing him to fall 16 metres.

The Member for Cook, Cynthia Lui, said the Emergency Services Roundtable (held earlier this week) was very positive, especially having a diverse cross-section of people around the table who have first-hand experience living in the Daintree.

“A number of solutions were identified including a suitable model of care, training for locals as first responders, connectivity and sharing resources.

“Today’s Roundtable had three key outcomes, where it was agreed that I will write a letter to relevant Ministers with the signatures of all attendees to progress identified solutions,” she said.

Mayor Leu said she applauded the State Government for coming up to Douglas Shire to address the issue, and was impressed with the input from our community members who attended.

“It was a very positive and productive meeting, and there are definite opportunities with a proposed first responder model.

“The first responder model enables volunteers to be trained and suitably resourced with equipment to assist when there is an incident or tragedy.

“The time prior to the ambulance and police arriving on the scene, in the first hour is critical and people trained in first aid, administration of drugs, alongside our current Cow Bay clinic health staff would be ideal,” she said.

She said that model would involve an emergency services hub to be co-located with the health clinic and would be a great outcome.

“Many locals were both SES and RFS volunteers and would be the same ones putting their hands up to be first responders, so we need to have resources across the key state departments shared, such as training.

“Incorporating the health clinic and emergency services into a central hub would be a better model of care and assist in community safety.

“It’s so important there’s co-ordination and collaboration between various ministerial portfolios for improved emergency services delivery north of the Daintree River. The meeting also discussed the very poor phone service and communications in general,” said Mayor Leu.

Ms Lui said QFES Assistant Commissioner, Adam Gwin, had agreed to work with the Douglas Shire Council’s Local Government Disaster Management Team to start a conversation about a Continuity Plan that would identify capabilities and highlight the limitations for the Daintree community.

“QAS will hold a meeting in December with the Daintree community to look at a model of care specific for the community and possibly training of first responders in emergency situations.”

“Overall, it was a highly constructive meeting where all participants contributed enormously through their expertise and knowledge,” said Ms Lui.

The zip line attraction was shut down as authorities investigated how the Adelaide tourist had plunged to his death.
His 48-year-old wife Shannon also fell and was rushed to Cairns Hospital.

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