Dreamworld reopens after Thunder River Rapids ride deaths.

By Elise Kinsella, Damien Larkins and Stephanie Smail

The Gold Coast theme park Dreamworld reopens today to the public for the first time since four people were killed on the Thunder River Rapids ride six weeks ago.

The park has been closed since October 25 when two women and two men died when their raft collided with another near a large conveyor belt at the end of the ride.

Dreamworld is using the reopening as a charity weekend to raise money for the families of the ride victims, Cindy Low, Kate Goodchild, her brother Luke Dorsett and his partner Ruzbeh Aragi.

The theme park’s chief executive Craig Davidson said he expects great support from the public, and assured people the attractions that will be open had been checked.

“Engineering and operations teams and safety teams have all been thoroughly checked and walked through,” he said.

“All of those rides that we will be operating have all been signed off through that three-tiered process.”

Wildlife areas, slides and pools at Dreamworld’s adjoining facility White Water World, a motorsport precinct and children’s areas will be open, but the major rides are expected to reopen in coming weeks.

“A number of the big nine thrill rides we won’t have available …. and they’ll be phased back in over the coming few weeks,” Mr Davidson said.

The Thunder River Rapids Ride has been decommissioned and will be shielded from public view.

Queensland Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace said she is waiting for the release of the safety audit to assess whether changes need to be made to safety laws.

“I think it was a catalyst to have a good look, assure the public, maintain the public confidence,” she said.


“Then if there’s anything we need to change we will.”

Safety audit identifies theme park issues

Workplace Health and Safety officers have completed safety audits at Dreamworld, Movieworld, Wet’N’Wild, Sea World and White Water World on the Gold Coast and at Australia Zoo and Aussie World on the Sunshine Coast.

So far, only three of the theme parks have revealed their results.

Movieworld’s 16 rides were cleared of safety issues.

The Aussie World audit identified four issues with managing chemicals and electrical equipment but didn’t flag any problems with rides.

Safety checks at Dreamworld found faults with two rides and two slides.

The BuzzSaw rollercoaster was shut down for problems including safety harness issues.

Seven improvement notices were issued for the Green Room Waterslide, Flowrider and Escape from Madagascar, although management said none related to guest safety.

In the days after the Dreamworld tragedy, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the audit of theme parks would consider if existing penalties were sufficient to act as deterrents, and whether they should contain provisions relating to gross negligence causing death.

“It is simply not enough for us to be compliant with our current laws, we need to be sure our laws keep pace with international research and new technologies,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

An inquest will be held into the Dreamworld deaths but a date is yet to be set.

This post originally appeared on ABC News.

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