Dreamworld Inquest Findings

Dreamworld Inquest Findings

Dreamworld Thunder River Rapids accident inquest findings handed down by coroner

Posted on 24.02.2020

The design and construction of Dreamworld’s Thunder River Rapids ride posed a “significant risk” to patrons’ safety and the park’s systems were “frighteningly unsophisticated”, a coroner has found.

Queensland south-eastern coroner James McDougall today handed down his findings into the deaths of four people on the ride in October 2016.

Cindy Low, Kate Goodchild, her brother Luke Dorsett and his partner Roozi Araghi died when the ride malfunctioned at the park.

Mr McDougall told a Brisbane court Dreamworld had a reputation as a “modern, world-class theme park” yet its safety and maintenance systems were “rudimentary at best”.

He said there had been a “systemic failure by Dreamworld in relation to all aspects of safety” and that he was referring parent company Ardent Leisure for possible prosecution.

“[There were] frighteningly unsophisticated systems in place at Dreamworld,” Mr McDougall said.

“It was simply a matter of time. That time came on October 25 [2016].”

The coroner said there was no proper engineering oversight, nor were any holistic risk assessments ever conducted on the Thunder River Rapids ride.

“Whilst there were various occasions … hazard identification risk assessment should have been triggered … this was never done,” he said.

“Owners should be risk-averse. That was not the case with respect of [this ride].


Key Points

  • Dreamworld had a “systemic failure” in all safety aspects, coroner James McDougall ruled
  • He found ride safety systems were “frighteningly unsophisticated” and had no holistic risk assessments
  • Mr McDougall declared a serious accident “was simply a matter of time”

While the Dreamworld Thunder River Rapids ride in question is quite different to most outdoor activities, there may be lessons to be learnt in the findings of the coroner for outdoor activity operators. (QORF)

Kate McKenna
ABC News





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