Hus­band slams re­sponse to tragedy

The Courier-Mail - - NEWS - JEREMY PIERCE

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

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