Swept away, Nelani Koefer was drowned.
Swept away, Nelani Koefer was drowned. File

Charges for Sunwater, dam maker

THE mother of four-year-old Nelani Koefer has expressed relief at charges against Bedford Weir owners Sunwater and the maker of the inflatable rubber dam that broke and led to the drowning death of her daughter in 2008.

Amy Koefer said it was another piece in a tragic puzzle that continued to haunt her as the first anniversary of Nelani’s death loomed on Monday.

“I guess there’s a little bit of relief that the ball has started rolling,” the 25-year-old said yesterday from her rented Gracemere home.

“I still don’t have closure. Nothing is going to change until I get the closure I need, and without that closure it’s very hard.”

Amy revealed she was lost without the angelic redhead she had affectionately called “Bub”.

This Sunday, Amy, her friends and family members will return to Bedford Weir to erect a pink, powder-coated, steel cross in memory of Nelani on the bank of the Mackenzie River.

The dedication will take place at 11am.

“If anyone wants to come it’s up to them. There’s no speeches; we’re just putting a cross in the ground,” said Amy.

With its investigation complete, Workplace Health and Safety Queensland on Wednesday laid charges against Sunwater and Trelleborg Engineered Systems (Australia), which manufactured, installed and serviced the rubber dam.

The inflatable rubber dam was used to raise the height of Bedford Weir and increase its capacity.

The charges allege the companies breached Section 28 of the Workplace Health and Safety Act (1995) by failing to meet their health and safety obligations as persons conducting a business or undertaking.

The complaints are set down for mention in the Blackwater Industrial Magistrates Court on Thursday, December 17.

In a statement released yesterday, Sunwater said it was reviewing the content of the complaint and was awaiting further details from WH and S.

Amy said she would be in the Blackwater court “with bells on”, and had vowed to wade through the legal mire to get the answers about Nelani’s death she craves.

Her mother, Deb Koefer, admitted on ABC Radio the family still struggled to cope.

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