A Wagga resident has joined a chorus of grieving Riverina families fighting to put an end to lengthy and emotional autopsy delays.
Jill Jones, who was left waiting to bury her son Mark after a tragic car accident in July last year, is now taking her battle to the state government.
Ms Jones, who was left in limbo and now wants to help other families, is calling for additional services in regional areas to prevent a backlog at the Newcastle centre.
Wagga’s Maree Watt is another resident who was riddled with delays after her family member passed away at home in August 2016.
The family was left waiting for six hours for the coroner to arrive and pronounce the death.
“We had to wait there all day because their was only one coroner who wasn’t in the area and had another call out,” she said.
After yet another mix up involving the transportation, the family was forced to reschedule the initially planned burial.
“They lost him and hadn’t even taken him the day they said,” she said.
“He was sitting here in Wagga for about four days when they said he’d been sent back – it was a complete balls up.”
Ms Watt said the 11 day delay was a “terrible wait” for the whole family.
“It was horrible for his parents, it was the second son they had to bury,” she said.
“Earlier that year a friend of ours passed away at home and it was 12 days before he could be buried.”
Ms Watt said Wagga should utilise its own facilities rather than transporting people to Newcastle.
“The distressing part is that people are in the car for 10 hours, which is not the way they should be treated,” she said.
Wagga MP Daryl Maguire said he had been meeting with Cootamundra MP Steph Cooke in an attempt to speed up the process.
“It’s challenging for families and it’s challenging for everyone,” he said.
“We continue to meet with the health professionals and ministers to try and influence the change.
“My sympathies and thoughts are with them because it’s terrible for them.”
Mr Maguire said it was a difficult process as there was a “critical shortage” in the forensic medicines field but was working to influence some training policies.
“A lot are controlled outside of the management of government but we have a strategy which we plan to stick to,” he said.