ACT News


Family welcomes reform but questions linger

Almost a year on from her husband Wayne's death, Fiona Vickery is still waiting for answers.

More than 11 months after the 45-year-old construction worker was struck by a road grader at a West Macgregor building site, Mrs Vickery is hoping the coroner's report will provide some of the detail she has been shielded from.

''I still want to know,'' she said. ''I want to know what happened to him and I don't. I don't know any part of what happened .. It is the hardest part. You just don't know.''

Despite the support received from organisations such as the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union, Mrs Vickery said it was frustrating to have no time frame for answers into her husband's death.

''It's hard waiting to see the outcome of that,'' she said. ''It would have been good to be done, finished. But it's still hanging.''

But there has been one positive development over the past 11 months, following an inquiry into work and health safety in the capital.


Having read the Getting Home Safely report issued on Monday, Mrs Vickery said it was encouraging to see the government recognised the industry needed to change. But she said it had taken too many lives to reach that conclusion.

''There's been four deaths, four too many,'' she said. ''But it's a step in the right direction.''

Inquiry staff contacted Mrs Vickery to let her know their work wouldn't delay investigations into her husband's death, while the union called regarding the launch of the findings. The report included a raft of recommendations, seven of which the ACT government intends to commit to immediately.

Mrs Vickery said implementing measures such as increased numbers of work-safety inspectors or taking contractor safety records into account when considering tenders could be enough to make a difference to the industry.

''They're all sort of pinpointing on trying to get the ACT government to make the construction industry be responsible,'' she said.

However, no report or recommendations could bring back her husband, and the community of Yass is preparing to rally around the Vickery family as they near the anniversary of Wayne's death next month.

For Mrs Vickery and her family, that support has been vital.

''We're battling on,'' she said.

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