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    Tourists at Boroka Lookout in 2019.

Parks safety review after coroner report into Grampians death

By Jessica Grimble 

Parks Victoria will review warning signs at a popular Grampians National Park tourist spot in a bid to keep people safe. 

The review comes after the release of a coroner’s report into the death of Melbourne mother Rosy Loomba, a disability support worker, at Boroka Lookout in December 2020. 

Deputy State Coroner Jacqui Hawkins has recommended Parks Victoria install signs ‘expressly stating’ people have been seriously injured and died at the location. 

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She has called for signs warning people of the dangers of a fall, and to stay within safety fencing. 

Mrs Loomba, 38, is survived by her husband Basant and their children Ansh and Akks. The family had travelled from their Craigieburn home to the Grampians to picnic with friends.  Ms Hawkins found that Mr and Mrs Loomba had climbed over a fence at the lookout to take photographs. 

When Mrs Loomba turned to return to her friends and children, she lost her balance and fell. 

“Mr Loomba jumped down to her and tried to pull her back up, but was unable to reach her hand,” the coroner’s report revealed. 

“He held on to her legs and her clothing but was unable to grasp her.” 

The lookout is fenced but ‘easily scalable’. 

Many visitors to the lookout on the same day had climbed the fence and taken photos on a rock ledge protruding from the cliff. 

Known as ‘Selfie Rock’, the ledge is popular on social media. 

About 30 people were at the lookout at the time of the accident and a queue of people were waiting to take photographs. 

Parks Victoria advised the coroner that safety inspections of the park were regular and routine.  

Following a death at the lookout in April 1999, a coroner recommended Parks Victoria ensure adequate provisions were available for safe viewing. 

Additional signs and infrastructure was installed at the lookout in 2022. 

“I am of the view that extra signage could be added to this area to prevent such deaths occurring in the future,” Ms Hawkins said. 

“I note that adventurers and park attendees may continue to climb fences to access lookouts in order to get a photo or for their own curiosity. 

“Mrs Loomba’s death is a reminder of the dangers associated with ignoring signing and fencing, which is put in place to keep people safe.” 

The coroner’s investigator found people standing on wires to scale the fence had damaged an area. 

The damage did not contribute to Mrs Loomba climbing over the fence. 

Parks Victoria will provide a formal response to the Coroner’s Court with a plan to address Ms Hawkin’s recommendations. 

“We’re reviewing the existing signage at Boroka Lookout including reviewing the recommendations from the Coroner’s Court,” a Parks Victoria spokesperson said. 

The spokesperson said Parks Victoria was ‘terribly saddened’ by the ‘tragic accident’ and sent condolences to the family. 

The spokesperson called on visitors to follow signs and stay on tracks, noting fences and barriers protected people and the environment. 

Emergency services located Mrs Loomba, with Victoria Police determining her death was a ‘tragic accident’. 

A Victorian State Emergency Services spokesperson said wellbeing support services were available to first-responders, including peer support and internal registered psychologists and external services such as an employee assistance program and Responder Assist. 

“We know that our members, at times, may attend critical incidents and be exposed to potentially traumatic events,” the spokesperson said. 

“Members also receive training throughout their service that supports them to manage themselves and others during and after critical incidents.” 

EDITORIAL: Risk or a simple choice

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