Dreamworld defends ride safety after four killed in accident

  • 27/10/2016
A mother and her child outside dreamworld (AAP)
A mother and her child outside dreamworld (AAP)

Dreamworld has mounted a defence of its safety standards in response to intense scrutiny following Tuesday's ride tragedy.

The theme park has come under fire over its safety record after the accident that killed four people, with the Australian Workers Union saying it had warned about problems as recently as three weeks ago.

But in a statement on Thursday, Dreamworld said it tested every ride each morning and complied with all safety standards.

The park also questioned the motivation for the AWU's criticism.

"Dreamworld is concerned about the timing and nature of recent AWU media comments," the statement said.

Cindy Low, 42, and Kate Goodchild, 32, her brother Luke Dorsett, 35, and his partner Roozbeh Araghi, 38, were killed when a raft they were in on the Thunder River Rapids ride flipped backwards on Tuesday. Ms Low's son and Ms Goodchild's daughter survived.

In the statement, Dreamworld said it went "well beyond our legal requirements" in working regularly with Queensland Workplace Health and Safety representatives and independent ride safety auditors.

The Thunder River Rapids Ride passed its annual safety inspection on September 29.

Before this week's events, there had never been a ride fatality at the park, it said, despite more than 30 million people passing through its gates since 1981.

The park said it was co-operating fully with investigators to determine the cause of the accident.

Meanwhile, the CEO of Dreamworld's parent company Ardent Leisure, says it is focused on helping the families of the four people killed on Tuesday.

Chief executive Deborah Thomas will also ask for patience at the company's annual general meeting in Sydney on Thursday.

"I understand the intense interest in this catastrophic event and appreciate there are many questions to be answered," she will tell shareholders at the meeting.

"But I ask for your patience as we work with those authorities to first establish the facts."

Ardent shares have dropped more than 30 percent since Tuesday, wiping more than $300 million from its market capitalisation.

Dreamworld will reopen for a memorial day on Friday, with a limited number of rides in operation and proceeds to be donated to charity, but it is not yet clear when normal operations with recommence.

Hundreds of people attended a candlelight vigil outside the park on Wednesday night, where hundreds of flowers have been laid.

NZN