Queensland has seven full-time coroners located in Cairns, Mackay, Brisbane and Southport.
A registrar, located in Brisbane, assists the coroners by investigating less complex matters, such as deaths from natural causes.
All reportable deaths are reported to one of the seven coroners or registrar, who investigate those deaths that occurred in the area under their jurisdiction (see below).
This doesn’t apply for deaths in custody and as a result of police operations, which are investigated by the state coroner and the deputy state coroner.
If you’re unsure which coroner is handling an investigation, contact the Coroners Court.
Note: All Queensland magistrates are also appointed as coroners and act in that role when required.
Current state coroner: Terry Ryan
The state coroner oversees and coordinates the Queensland coronial system to ensure it is administered efficiently and appropriately. The State coroner's guidelines direct other coroners about the conduct of coronial investigations.
They investigate deaths in custody and as a result of police operations.
Deputy state coroner
Current deputy state coroner: John Lock
Located in Brisbane, the deputy state coroner is primarily responsible for coronial investigations into deaths in the Greater Brisbane, Sunshine Coast and South Queensland regions.
They may also investigate deaths in custody and as a result of police operations, and act as the state coroner when required.
Current Brisbane coroners: Christine Clements and John Hutton
Located in Brisbane, these coroners investigate deaths in the Greater Brisbane and Sunshine Coast and South Queensland regions.
Current northern coroner: Kevin Priestly
Located in Cairns, this coroner investigates deaths in the North Queensland region, which extends from Cairns south to Bowen, west to Mount Isa and north to the Papua New Guinea border.
Current central coroner: David O’Connell
Located in Mackay, this coroner investigates deaths in the Central Queensland region, which extends from Proserpine and the Whitsundays in the north to Gayndah in the south.
South Eastern coroner
Current south eastern coroner: James McDougall
Located in Southport, this coroner investigates deaths in the Gold Coast area, Beenleigh and Logan.
The coronial registrar investigates deaths reported to police:
- because a death certificate hasn’t been issued
- to review potentially reportable deaths reported directly by medical practitioners or funeral directors.
The coronial registrar also advises clinicians on whether a death is reportable. These deaths represent the high volume, less complex range of matters reported to coroners.