The disaster occurred after a pump stopped working on the Thunder River Rapids Ride, causing water levels to drop and a raft to become stuck on the conveyor belt on October 25, 2016.
The disaster occurred after a pump stopped working on the Thunder River Rapids Ride, causing water levels to drop and a raft to become stuck on the conveyor belt on October 25, 2016.

Former Dreamworld manager to ask for special treatment

A FORMER senior Dreamworld manager is expected to make an application to give evidence under special provisions when the inquest into what caused the Thunder River Rapids Ride tragedy starts again on Monday.

The special provisions will mean the employee will not be able to prosecuted for any information revealed about the tragedy during the inquest.

The disaster occurred after a pump stopped working on the Thunder River Rapids Ride, causing water levels to drop and a raft to become stuck on the conveyor belt on October 25, 2016.

That raft was hit by another carrying Luke Dorsett, his sister Kate Goodchild, her daughter Ebony, 12, Roozbeh Araghi, Cindy Low and her son, Kieran, 10.

 

Roozbeh Araghi, Kate Goodchild, Luke Dorsett and Cindy Low died on the Thunder River Rapids Ride tragedy at Dreamworld on October 25, 2017. Picture: Supplied
Roozbeh Araghi, Kate Goodchild, Luke Dorsett and Cindy Low died on the Thunder River Rapids Ride tragedy at Dreamworld on October 25, 2017. Picture: Supplied

The four adults were killed. The children were uninjured.

The second round of evidence follows two harrowing weeks in June when a number of revelations were revealed including a confusing control panel, a lack of training and cost cutting measure were in place at the time of the disaster.

The inquest will spend the next two weeks hearing evidence from 22 witnesses - a majority Dreamworld employees including middle and upper management.

Counsel assisting the coroner Ken Fleming said the next two weeks would shift focus away from the event itself and more onto Dreamworld's safety policies.

"We will be moving away from the actual event … it will be looking at that and seeing why they did this," he said.

Counsel assisting the Coroner Ken Fleming speaks to the media in June.
Counsel assisting the Coroner Ken Fleming speaks to the media in June.

The first two witnesses on Monday are Stephen Murphy and Grant Naumann, maintenance staff who were involved in ride breakdown procedures.

On Tuesday the inquest is expected hear evidence from Dreamworld engineer Gen Cruz, safety officer John Clark and former Dreamworld ride operator Stephen Buss.

Mr Buss was sacked by Dreamworld after a "safety incident" in November 2014 in which two rafts collided on the conveyor belt.

Barrister for Ms Goodchild's partner David Turner and Mr Dorsett father Shayne Goodchild, Steven Whybrow at the inquest in June read from Mr Buss's termination letter that "a raft containing guests has bottomed out at the top of the conveyor due to water supply".

"An additional raft containing guests has then collided with it that continued to be pushed by the conveyor until it was shut down."

The inquiry was told Mr Buss shut down the ride and started it up again.

The final witness on the list of the next two weeks is Dreamworld park operations manager Troy Margettes. Two days has been set aside for his evidence.

In June ride operator Courtney Williams, who was at the controls when the tragedy occurred, told the inquest a manager named Troy had told her not to talk to police.

Ardent Leisure Chairman Gary Weiss yesterday released a statement ahead of the next round of hearings.

"Firstly, this will be a difficult time for many and our hearts and thoughts firmly remain with the families and all those affected by this tragedy," Dr Weiss said.

"Following the comprehensive three-tier engineering and safety review of rides and attractions that was commenced at the end of 2016, Dreamworld continues to implement parkwide safety initiatives covering rides, attractions, training and safety systems and procedures."

He said last month Workplace Health and Safety Queensland conducted a week-long inspection of all rides and no improvement notices were issued.

After the conclusion of the two weeks of sittings, the inquest will return again in November.

The November sittings are expected to focus on the role of the state safety regulators.



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