Dream­world con­demned

Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin - - NEWS - JEREMY PIERCE

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.

Matthew Low.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.