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Queensland Government to undertake ‘safety blitz’ on theme parks
Inspectors from Workplace Health and Safety Queensland will carry out a month-long check of amusement rides and theme parks across the state as part of a month-long safety blitz following four deaths on Dreamworld's Thunder River Rapids ride earlier this week.
Queensland Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace said urgent action was required to ensure the safety of theme park visitors following the Dreamworld tragey on Tuesday (25th October).
Minister Grace explained "Tuesday’s tragic events reverberated around Australia and the world, and my heart goes out to the family and friends of those who lost their lives.
“These events are being thoroughly investigated by authorities and in addition to this, safety auditors will be hitting Queensland theme parks from today.
“The public safety blitz will commence today at Dreamworld, before rolling out to Wet’n’Wild, Sea World, Aussie World, Australia Zoo and Movie World.
“The audits will be completed by the end of November and be carried out by specialist inspectors and engineers.
“They’ll be looking at records inspection, maintenance and repair and manufacturer documentation in our theme parks.
“Ride operator training and procedure records, along with controls and processes for taking out and returning equipment to service will also come under the spotlight in these safety audits.
“This is about protecting visitors to our theme parks and restoring public confidence in Queensland’s prime tourism assets ahead of the busy Christmas holiday season.”
After being criticised for a cancelled plan to reopen Dreamworld for a public memorial on Friday ahead of resuming operations on today, Ardent Leisure has announced the facility would remain closed at least until funerals for all four victims were held.
Dreamworld Chief Executive Craig Davidson said that even when the park reopened, all attractions at the facility would undergo “internal and external safety audits” that would be peer reviewed.
Davidson attended a private memorial for the victims at the theme park yesterday alongside Ardent Leisure Chief Executive Deborah Thomas and about 450 staff.
Thomas, who came under scrutiny for accepting an $843,000 bonus at Ardent Leisure’s annual general meeting in Sydney on Thursday, laid a floral tribute to the victims at an ever-growing shrine outside the park’s main entrance.
She apologised for any pain her, or the company’s, actions may have caused the families following the tragedy.
Thomas told media “I would like to say that if I haven’t handled it as well as I could – we thought we were doing the right things in terms of the way we approached it through the police – but if the families are watching, I have spoken to a number of them and we will look after them.
“I hope that this is the beginning of the healing process.”
Dreamworld has also defended its safety record against criticism from the Australian Workers Union, which says it has been warning about problems at the park for years.
The theme park’s management says the ride was inspected as recently as last month.
Click here to visit the Workplace Health and Safety Queensland (Worksafe Queensland) website.
Top image: Worksafe Queensland's safety blitz will commence today at Dreamworld.
28th October 2016 - DREAMWORLD DEFENDS SAFETY RECORD AFTER REVELATIONS OF PAST BREACHES
27th October 2016 - ARDENT LEISURE IN TURMOIL AFTER DREAMWORLD RIDE TRAGEDY
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
10th December 2014 - WORKSAFE REPORT REVEALS AUSTRALIA ZOO HANDLER ‘OVER EXCITED’ TIGER BEFORE ATTACK
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