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Dreamworld sentencing ‘won’t change nightmare’ for victims’ families

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

The mother of two of the Thunder River Rapids ride victims says today’s sentencing of Dream World parent group Ardent Leisure won’t change “the nightmare she has been living” over the past four years.

The mother of two of the Thunder River Rapids ride victims says today's sentencing of Dream World parent group Ardent Leisure won't change "the nightmare she has been living" over the past four years.

Ardent Leisure has been convicted and given one month to pay a $3.6 million fine after pleading guilty to three charges including failing to maintain the ride, maintain Safeworks systems and provide adequate training to staff.

The company was facing anywhere up to $4.5 million in fines after mother Kate Goodchild, her brother Luke Dorsett, his partner Roozi Araghi and Cindy Low all died instantly when the ride malfunctioned on October 25, 2016.

READ MORE: Dreamworld ride 'should not have opened'

Kim Dorsett, the mother of Mr Dorsett and Ms Goodchild, was in court today, as she has been throughout many of the proceedings during the investigation. 

"It's been a long four years, it's just like yesterday," Ms Dorsett told Today.

"Returning to the Gold Coast puts you right back into the past.

"Today really doesn't change our world.

"The reality of living without your children and having children without mothers, it's a nightmare reality actually."

Dreamworld tragedy victims (from left): Cindy Low, Luke Dorsett, Roozi Araghi and Kate Goodchild.

READ MORE: Ride operator only had two hours of training before River Rapids Tragedy

Ms Dorsett travelled to the Gold Coast from Canberra to hear today's verdict with her granddaughter Ebony, whose life was spared when her mother and uncle were killed on the ride.

The tragedy occurred when a water pump on the Thunder River Rapids ride malfunctioned, causing the vessel the group were riding on to collide with another and flip.

READ:  Ordinary Council Meeting Tuesday 23 February 2021

Looking at evidence shown during the inquest, Coroner James McDougall slammed Dreamworld for its "systemic failure" in all aspects of safety, "shoddy record-keeping" and "frighteningly unsophisticated" systems.

READ MORE: Theme park ride pump failed 'repeatedly' in lead up to tragedy

He said the ride "posed a significant risk to the health and safety of patrons", and hazards, including the wide spacing of slats, pump failures and the lack of an emergency stop, would have been easily identifiable to a competent person, had one ever been asked to consider the ride.

Mr McDougall found "there was no evidence that Dreamworld ever conducted a proper engineering risk assessment on the ride during its 30 years of commission".

Dreamworld re-opened two weeks ago, thanks to a $70 million loan from the Queensland Government.

Source: 9News

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