Nelani's case adjourned until May

THE mother of Blackwater drowning victim Nelani Koefer has been left “absolutely gutted” by a five-month delay to the start of court proceedings into the death of the four-year-old at Bedford Weir last November.

Amy Koefer said she was struggling to cope with the news an adjournment had been agreed to before the matter was to be mentioned in the Blackwater Industrial Magistrate’s Court yesterday.

“All I want is for this to begin so I can start getting some closure, as I have already been diagnosed with post- traumatic stress syndrome and it is making things harder for me daily to have to wait,” she said.

Workplace Health and Safety Queensland has charged SunWater, which owns the Bedford Weir, and Trelleborg Engineered Systems, which made, installed and serviced the weir’s inflatable rubber dam, with breaches of the Workplace Health and Safety Act in failing to meeting their health and safety obligations.

On Sunday, November 22, Nelani was frolicking with Amy and other family members in the Mackenzie River when the rubber dam on the weir burst, sweeping her out of their arms and into a 6000 megalitre torrent.

A search mission was mounted and the little redhead’s body was found the following day.

“I guess I have to look at it in a more positive manner, and think to myself the longer it takes, the more thorough the legal proceedings will be,” says Amy. With Christmas around the corner, the 25-year-old said she and her partner Ted Martin were failing to find any festive cheer in their lives.

“We can’t bear to celebrate.

Without Nelani, it’s another day that will dredge up painful memories.

“I will be taking flowers out to Bub’s cross (erected at Bedford Weir last month) Christmas morning, and I will more than likely float flowers downstream too - if I can bring myself to go back to the water,” Amy said.

The matter returns to the Blackwater court on May 20, 2010.

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