ProSlide is the global leader in water ride design and manufacturing, supplying high-performance water attractions to new and expanding water parks around the world. For over three decades, ProSlide…read more
Dreamworld inquest delay as Ardent Leisure accused of being slow to hand over documents
Witnesses in the Dreamworld inquest may have to be recalled, with Ardent Leisure, the theme park's owners criticised for taking too long to provide crucial documents.
The inquiry into the deaths of four guests at Dreamworld in October 2016 has been delayed because more than 1,000 new documents were only handed to the Coroner this week.
Cindy Low, Kate Goodchild, Luke Dorsett and Roozi Araghi were fatally crushed when the Thunder River Rapids ride malfunctioned in October 2016.
Matthew Hickey, the barrister acting for Low's family, said witnesses may have to be recalled, telling the Coronial inquest that he spent the "better part" of last night trying to review as much of the new information as possible.
He complained to Coroner James McDougall that Ardent Leisure’s lawyers had not alerted the inquest that the documents "are indeed relevant to the witnesses your honour is about to hear from".
Lawyer for Ardent Leisure, Bruce Hodgkinson, told the inquest finding all relevant documents for the "very broad" inquiry was a "very complex, difficult task".
He again argued his team had to "interrogate a raft of databases", including personal databases on personal computers to find documents.
Hodgkinson added “the opportunity to cross examine witnesses has not only been available but has been availed upon.
Counsel assisting the coroner Ken Fleming "endorsed" Hickey's comments, pointing out it had been nearly two years since the documents were requested.
Fleming added “this is from a very large organisation who were responsible for the ride in which four people have died - the worst tragedy of this sort in the history of theme parks.
"Two years later we are still asking them, despite the size of the corporation and despite the size of the lawyers acting for them, we still haven't got the documents we require."
McDougall said he was "reluctant to delay proceedings" and "from a practical point of view" there was little he could do about the matter.
Yesterday outside inquest, Counsel assisting the Coroner, Ken Fleming, clarified comments he had made to the ABC criticising a legal firm for "compromising" the inquiry's evidence.
Shine Lawyers announced earlier this week three key witnesses were planning to sue the theme park.
Fleming said on Wednesday Shine Lawyers were "using the opportunity to build their own profile".
On Thursday he stressed he wasn't speaking for the Coroner, adding “so far as there might be any imputation against Shine Lawyers, I unreservedly withdraw those and apologise for those.
"The things I said were entirely mine, there were not the coroners."
However, Fleming added it "would have been better" if Shine Lawyers had not made its plans public.
Image: Dreamworld’s Thunder River Rapids ride in operation prior to the October 2016 fatalities.
9th October 2018 - Staff to sue Dreamworld over ‘significant psychological injuries’
26th September 2018 - Ardent Leisure facing naming challenges with new Dreamworld simulator ride
5th September 2018 - Dreamworld partners with Canberra’s National Zoo to aid Wild Tiger Conservation
27th August 2018 - Dreamworld looks to attract visitors with entry fee drop and LEGO exhibition
22nd August 2018 - Ardent Leisure losses grow as Dreamworld’s value declines by $75 million
30th July 2018 - Ride fatalities aftermath continues to drive down Dreamworld’s value
8th July 2018 - Climber falls to death from Sydney Tower Skywalk
11th March 2018 - Dreamworld demolishes Thunder River Rapids ride
25th October 2016 - Four killed in tragic incident on Dreamworld’s Thunder River Rapids ride
Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?
The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.
However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.
Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.
Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.
Click here to subscribe.
The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.
Smart Connection Consultancy is a boutique sport and recreation consultancy who has become one of Australia’s leading advocates for the use of synthetic sports surfaces as a vehicle to grow…read more
JonasLeisure offers a complete range of leading leisure and recreation software brands – envibe, Centaman, Gladstone Health & Leisure, The Retention People, Nutrition Complete and…read more
Polin was founded in Istanbul in 1976, and has since grown into a leading company in the waterparks industry. Today Polin is one of the world leaders in the design, production, and installation of…read more
The Fitness Generation is now part of NovoFit - see www.ausleisure.com.au/suppliers/novofit/read more
Whether your goal is increasing your centre's revenues or creating an engaging environment, why not add play to your project? If you're looking for stylish aquatic play features, kid-tested…read more
Quayclean are a national cleaning and waste services partner with proven results in the understanding and delivery of cleaning needs and challenges faced by facilities including; major venues and…read more
get listed with our suppliers directory
Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!