When handing down his findings yesterday at an inquest into the death of Julia McLean, Coroner Hugh Dillon made recommendations aimed at improving safety in wool sheds.
Nanjing Night Net

Ms McLean was working as a rouseabout at Pampas, near Walgett, when she died as a result of acute lung disease, most likely caused by Goodpasture’s Disease.

Bromoxynil, a type of pesticide, was found in Ms McLean’s system, but Magistrate Dillon concluded that the chemical was in “such microscopic proportions” that it was unlikely to have played a part in her death.

The 19-year-old arrived at the property on a Sunday night in November of 2007. She did not eat much from Wednesday that week until she died on Friday.

Ms McLean had been vomiting the night before her death and complained of being sick the next morning.

The court heard the Poka family, who she was working for, did not realise how seriously ill Ms McLean was.

She collapsed at work on the Friday and was taken to the living quarters.

After lunch, co-worker Hine Taingahue, found Ms McLean on the floor of her bedroom barely able to breathe.

Ms McLean’s boyfriend, shearer Lindsay Patterson, was alerted and after making attempts to help her, he eventually put her in the car and took her to hospital.

But by that stage, it was too late.

Ultimately, medical attention should have been sought a lot sooner than it was, Magistrate Dillon concluded.

“One of the puzzling features of this whole episode was … that no one used the landline in the workshop to call an ambulance,” he said.

Mr Patterson first went to assist Ms McLean about 3.30pm on Friday, November 16 and did not take her to the hospital until about 4.30pm.

But there was no foul play on the part of Mr Patterson, who was obviously very fond of Ms McLean, Magistrate Dillon said.

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