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Queensland Government announces acceptance of Coroner’s findings into 2016 Dreamworld ride deaths

Queensland Government announces acceptance of Coroner’s findings into 2016 Dreamworld ride deaths
February 25, 2020

The Queensland Government has released a statement announcing that it "accepts" the findings of Coroner James McDougall in his report into the deaths of four guests killed while riding Dreamworld's Thunder River Rapids Ride in October 2016.

Released yesterday and not attributed to any Minister in the Queensland Government, the statement advised “the matter has been referred to the independent Work Health and Safety Prosecutor to decide whether action will be taken against Dreamworld’s owner, Ardent Leisure, under the Work Health and Safety Act.”

The statement also advised that the “majority of recommendations in the findings have already been implemented by the decisive steps we have taken in the past three years to improve safety on amusement rides.

“But we are conducting a thorough examination of the recommendations to determine if more needs to be done to ensure the highest levels of safety in theme parks.”

Referring to laws “which are nothing short of world class”, the statement goes on to say “we have a new regulatory framework in place which fundamentally improves the approach and safety standard for amusement rides and theme parks in Queensland”.

The statement also advised that the “majority of recommendations in the findings have already been implemented by the decisive steps we have taken in the past three years to improve safety on amusement rides.

“But we are conducting a thorough examination of the recommendations to determine if more needs to be done to ensure the highest levels of safety in theme parks.”

Referring to laws “which are nothing short of world class”, the statement goes on to say “we have a new regulatory framework in place which fundamentally improves the approach and safety standard for amusement rides and theme parks in Queensland”.

These laws include:

• Mandatory major inspections of all amusement rides by qualified engineers every ten years – this is in in addition to the mandatory annual inspections which are already required.
• More stringent operator training. 
• A comprehensive safety case and licensing regime for major theme parks that includes a full safety assessment of all rides at the park.  
• More stringent record keeping for all amusement rides in relation to inspections, maintenance and operator competency.

The statement went on to say “we have strengthened Workplace Health and Safety Queensland’s (WHSQ) capabilities through a stronger focus on enforcement and compliance, including comprehensive annual audits on all six major theme parks.

“We have begun developing a Code of Practice for the industry to complement the new regulations.

We have employed 33 additional inspectors, including three engineers to oversee the new safety requirements for major amusement parks.

“In addition to the comprehensive training inspectors already receive, they also now receive specific training on amusement device safety.”

It concludes “we are committed to providing the highest safety standards, from rides at carnivals and school fairs, to those at our major theme parks.”

Image: The Thunder River Rapids Ride in operation at Dreamworld prior to the October 2016 fatalities.

Related Articles

24th February 2020 - AALARA highlights Australian theme parks’ ongoing safety commitments

24th February 2020 - Coroner’s report on Dreamworld fatalities exposes Ardent Leisure to prosecution for multiple safety breaches

4th February 2020 - Worksafe Queensland prosecution results in $50,000 fine following inflatable amusement ride injury

31st December 2019 - WorkSafe Queensland issues advisory note on zip line terminations

9th August 2019 - Ekka prioritises amusement ride safety

28th June 2019 - Ardent Leisure facing potential $80 million liability in wake of Dreamworld inquest

28th June 2019 - NT WorkSafe issues amusement ride safety alert following country show accident

17th May 2019 - New safety rules for Queensland theme parks and attractions now in force

4th March 2019 - Queensland Goverment reveals tougher safety regulations for amusement rides and theme parks

2nd January 2019 - Airlie Beach lagoon drowning prompts WorkSafe Queensland advice

7th December 2018 - Dreamworld reputation savaged at inquest

22nd November 2018 - Ardent Leisure reveals theme park investment strategy

16th August 2018 - Queensland Government regulators left inspections of fatal ride up to Dreamworld

24th August 2017 - AALARA supports new Queensland safety legislation but asks for improved consultation on changes

23rd August 2017 - Queensland to implement new safety laws following Dreamworld tragedy report

14th December 2016 - Non-Compliance in attractions and entertainment has its costs

29th October 2016 - Queensland Government to undertake ‘safety blitz’ on theme parks


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