Dreamworld company's shareholders dismayed at bonuses

  • 27/10/2016
Ardent chairman Neil Balnaves and chief executive Deborah Thomas (Getty)
Ardent chairman Neil Balnaves and chief executive Deborah Thomas (Getty)

Shareholders of Ardent Lesiure, which owns Dreamworld, have expressed dismay that company bonuses were approved days after four visitors were killed at the theme park.

Ardent's AGM went ahead in Sydney on Thursday morning where chief executive Deborah Thomas' bonus, worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, was backed.

"I would have preferred there to be no discussion of any bonuses today," shareholder Steve O'Reilly told AAP afterwards.

"My preference would have been for it to be postponed because we're standing here only two days after the tragedy."

Kate Goodwill, 32, her brother Luke Dorsett, 35, his partner Roozbeh Araghi, 38, and Sydney mother Cindy Low, 42, died when Thunder River Rapids ride malfunctioned on Tuesday.

Ardent chairman Neil Balnaves said shareholder proxy votes were submitted before the tragedy occurred and that it was impossible to retake them.

"I think the company has to be run. The coronial inquiry and the workplace health and safety inquiry under the Queensland government and our own internal inquiries take months," he said.

Mr Balnaves said the company bonuses were for the previous financial year.

At a press conference afterwards, Ms Thomas said it would be inappropriate to discuss her bonus, worth at least $670,000, while the victim's families and the company grieved.

The theme park is set to reopen as normal from Saturday with a memorial day planned for Friday.

Ardent's share price bounced back on Thursday after falling nearly 15 percent on Wednesday.

NZN

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