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Independent investigator appointed to lead Ravenshoe review

Former Queensland Ambulance Commissioner David Melville APM ASM has been appointed to lead the review into the health system’s response following the Ravenshoe café explosion.

Queensland Health Director-General Michael Walsh announced the independent appointment to conduct a systemic review of the largest aeromedical retrieval of burns victims in Queensland’s history to identify lessons learned and inform future responses.

“The Ravenshoe disaster presented us with an opportunity to learn valuable lessons that can assist our health system to respond to future mass casualty events,” Mr Walsh said.

Mr Walsh said the former leader of the Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) has held extensive leadership and advisory roles for QAS and the Queensland Police Service.

“Mr Melville specialises in senior management and his extensive knowledge will be extremely beneficial to the review process.”

Mr Walsh commended everyone involved in the June incident and for their efforts in the health system’s response to the incident.

“Mr Melville will now lead an examination to set up a formal framework to ensure the lessons learned from the incident are incorporated into future responses.

“The investigation will also review the initial findings and recommendations completed by the Department of Health, QAS and three Hospital and Health Services involved in the response.

“This review will focus on the health system’s preparedness, the statewide response and recovery in the post-incident period and longer term.”

Mr Walsh said he would welcome findings and recommendations made by Mr Melville including how the health system could improve in its preparedness for disasters.

“What we saw in June this year was an unprecedented and tragic event that impacted many lives.

“It was a confronting scene to which medical personnel and services responded quickly.

We want to ensure we learn from this event so we can improve and better support those responding to these events on the frontline.”

A final report is expected to be completed in early 2016.

Information about how to make a submission, along with the Terms of Reference for the review, is available at:

Last updated: 10 December 2015