Husband slams response to tragedy
THE husband of one of the tourists killed in the Dreamworld Thunder River Rapids tragedy has slammed the theme park’s management, as the harrowing inquests finally draws to a close.
After more than six weeks of hearings spread across almost six months, the inquest into the 2016 tragedy which claimed the lives of Kate Goodchild, Luke Dorsett, Roozi Araghi and Cindy Low finished abruptly just before lunch yesterday.
Afterwards, Mathew Low issued a statement, slamming Dreamworld over the ‘‘senseless’’ death of his wife Cindy.
“It is still unfathomable as to why Dreamworld hasn’t moved to overhaul their safety practices, policies and standards to date,” he said.
“Nothing significant has changed since the immediate wake of the tragedy, nor even when they have learned of the revelations about their flaws in safety standards and practices through this inquiry. It seems that their priority has been to maintain their image without action.
“The inquiry has been heartbreaking to listen to.
“Our hope is that the recommendations will ensure that we all have answers into why this disaster occurred, and will prevent any other family going through such enormous heartbreak.”
Kim Dorsett, who lost two children and the man who was practically her sonin-law, said it was an emotional time now that the hearings were finally over.
Earlier, Coroner James McDougall said he appreciated the effort they had made to sit through weeks of harrowing testi- mony, in which a catalogue of shortfalls and failures by the theme park was laid bare.
Dreamworld’s former chief executive Craig Davidson and Ardent’s former boss Deborah Thomas were not required to give evidence.
Ms Thomas, who left her post soon after the tragedy, was photographed in Sydney yesterday enjoying lunch at a restaurant at inner-city tourist area The Rocks.
Sources close to the case believe families could receive multimillion- dollar compensation payouts from Dreamworld and parent company Ardent Leisure. Ardent chairman Gary Weiss said the company was commit- ted to doing whatever it took to ensure a tragedy like the Thunder River Rapids disaster never happened again.
“Our thoughts remain with the victims’ families, and everyone who has been affected,” he said.
Ardent reaffirmed its commitment to implement all of the Coroner’s recommendations. “There is no greater priority than the safety of our guests and team members,” Mr Weiss said. Mr McDougall does not have the power to lay criminal charges, but could recommend the case be referred back to the Department of Public Prosecutions. He is expected to deliver his findings in the first half of 2019.
WORLD AWAY: Former Ardent boss Deborah Thomas at The Rocks in Sydney yesterday. Picture: Matrix