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Ardent Leisure in turmoil after Dreamworld ride tragedy

Ardent Leisure in turmoil after Dreamworld ride tragedy
October 27, 2016

Under massive scrutiny following Tuesday’s tragedy in which four people died on Dreamworld’s Thunder River Rapids ride, Ardent Leisure, owner of the Gold Coast theme park, has cancelled plans to hold a memorial service at the attraction tomorrow (Friday 28th October) – to be followed by its reopening.

Dreamworld announced yesterday (the day after the tragedy) that it would reopen and donate the day's proceeds to the Red Cross, which was providing counselling and support for those affected.

However, Ardent Leisure appear to not to have consulted Queensland Police over the planned reopening, with the site of the fatal ride malfunction still an active crime scene.

Amid huge media interest and with the planned reopening widely questioned, Ardent Leisure cancelled the plan earlier today.

In addition, having yesterday claimed in a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange that Dreamworld had “reached out to the families (of the deceased) through the police liason officer to offer ... unwavering support” it emerged today that company representatives had not actually contacted the families.

During a televised media conference following Ardent Leisure’s AGM, Ardent Chief Executive Deborah Thomas was challenged by a journalist who advised that the Dorsett family was watching the media conference and was "furious" at the suggestion they had been offered support from Dreamworld management.

Thomas then conceded “we didn't call the Dorsett family directly because we didn't know how to contact them, so we have been to the police liaison officer.”

The journalist then provided the Dorsett family’s contacts.

At the AGM, it was revealed that Thomas would be receiving performance bonuses of up to $840,000 as part of her salary package.

Queensland Police have also advised that said on Tuesday that the whole tragedy was captured on CCTV.

The deceased were confirmed as ACT residents Kate Goodchild, her brother Luke Dorsett and his partner Roozbeh Araghi along with 42-year-old Sydney mother Cindy Low.

The Dreamworld website currently advises that the attraction "is currently closed until further notice".

Images: Dreamworld will remain closed "until further notice" (top) and the fatal incident is understood to have involved the conveyor system at the end of the Thunder River Rapids ride (below).

25th October 2016 - ARDENT LEISURE SHARES FALL AFTER DREAMWORLD TRAGEDY

25th October 2016 - FOUR KILLED IN TRAGIC INCIDENT ON DREAMWORLD’S THUNDER RIVER RAPIDS RIDE

26th September 2016 - NEIL BALNAVES TO DEPART ARDENT LEISURE AS GROUP ANNOUNCES NAME CHANGE

23rd September 2016 - SAFETY INSPECTOR’S LEGAL TEAM ARGUES LIMITED RESPONSIBILITIES IN ROYAL ADELAIDE SHOW DEATH CASE

24th August 2016 - ARDENT LEISURE FULL YEAR RESULTS STRONG REVENUE GROWTH

15th June 2016 - RIDE OWNERS CHARGED OVER ROYAL ADELAIDE SHOW FATALITY


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