West Australian Premier, Colin Barnett has admitted there is nothing to stop a mother attempting to sue the government after her daughter fell ill after visiting a state-run water park.
Five-year-old Chelsea Fawcett was hospitalised with a severe eye infection, that has caused her to become partially blind in one eye. It is unknown if her sight will return to normal. Chelsea’s family has linked the eye infection to her recent visit to the bacteria-plagued water park, Elizabeth Quay.
Legal firm, Slater and Gordon is reportedly investigating a claim on behalf of Chelsea against the state government.
Speaking yesterday with journalists, Premier Barnett said he was sorry the child had an eye infection.
“I don’t know that it’s absolutely established it came from the water park but it may have,” Mr Barnett told reporters. “If the mother wants to pursue it, there’s nothing to stop her. It’s a free society.”
The water park remains closed indefinitely after routine sampling found pseudomonas-type bacteria in the water spray, which can cause skin rashes or ear and eye infections.
It had been closed initially then briefly reopened before the indefinite closure.
Premier Barnett said that he hoped the park would reopen in coming weeks and described the water park problems as “unfortunate.” He denied that the problems were embarrassing for the state government.
“It detracts in a small way from Elizabeth Quay, but it is a comparatively minor issue,” he said. “For the Labor party and Mark McGowan to be calling for inquiries and the like, I mean, if he was ever premier we would live on a diet of inquiries.”
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