THE husband of one of the people killed in the Dreamworld Thunder River Rapids disaster has slammed the theme park’s management as the harrowing inquest draws to a close.
After more than six weeks of hearings spread across almost six months, the inquest in to the 2016 tragedy that 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. unattended. It’s guaranteed to catch a bird.”
Mr Goonan said he rescued about 250 birds each year that had been caught in fishing tackle. “These birds are so vulnerable. Our waterways (have) so much crap in the water,” he said.
“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.”
Earlier, Coroner James McDougall said he appreciated the effort they made to sit through weeks of harrowing testimony where a catalogue of shortfalls and failures by the theme park were laid bare.
“I appreciate the families and loved ones who have attended almost every day of this inquest,” he said.
“I realise how difficult it has been to sit there and listen to the evidence and I thank you for doing that. You have my deepest condolences.”
Dreamworld’s former CEO Craig Davidson and Ardent’s former boss Deborah Thomas were not required to give evidence at the inquest.
Sources close to the case believe families could receive multi-million-dollar compensation payouts from Dreamworld and parent company Ardent Leisure.
Ardent chairman Gary Weiss said the company was committed 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 by this terrible tragedy,” he said.
Ardent reaffirmed its commitment to implement all of the Coroner’s recommendations in consultation with Workplace Health and Safety Queensland and the theme park industry.
Mr McDougall does not have the power to lay criminal charges over the tragedy, but could instead recommend that the case be referred back to the department of public prosecutions.
He is expected to deliver his findings sometime in the first half of next year.