• Royal Life Saving

Coroner Hands Down Dreamworld Findings


Coroner Mr James McDougall has handed down his findings into the deaths of the four people at Dreamworld in October 2016.


The report totaling 300 pages has outlined the details and events leading up to and recommendations after the event of the deaths of Cindy Low, Kate Goodchild, her brother Luke Dorsett and his partner Roozi Araghi when a water pump on the Thunder River Rapids malfunctioned.


With family of the victims present in the Brisbane Magistrates Court Mr McDougall said it was clear from expert evidence – which emerged over six weeks in 2018 – the design and construction of the ride “posed significant risk” to patrons.


Mr McDougall referred Ardent Leisure, the owner and operator of the Gold Coast theme park, to the Office of Industrial Relations to consider whether there is sufficient evidence to show it committed breaches under workplace laws.


The Coroner has identified there was a “systematic failure” in relation to “all aspects of safety”. “The maintenance and safety records for the rides were scant and ad hoc. There was no evidence Dreamworld had conducted a thorough engineering risk assessment of the ride in three decades since its opening”. Mr McDougall clearly stated “I find that shoddy record keeping was a significant contributor to this incident.”


The ride was also heavily criticised as “unsafe” with no proper maintenance schedules, extensive cracking and corrosion, with parts of the structure “propped up with timber”.


What does this mean for the rest of the Aquatic Industry? How will other Aquatic Amusement devices in Public Pools be affected?


Royal Life Saving Society Australia and the National Aquatic Industry Committee will discuss the findings and recommendations at its next meeting.


For further details view the Coroner’s report here