Dreamworld theme park operator Ardent Leisure are fined $3.6million

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The mother of two of the Thunder River Rapids ride victims has revealed the chilling words that will haunt her ‘until the day she dies’. 

Kim Dorsett’s children Kate Goodchild and Luke Dorsett, his partner Roozi Araghi, and NSW mother Cindy Low were killed when the amusement park ride malfunctioned, October 25, 2016. 

Dreamworld’s parent company Ardent Leisure were ordered to pay $3.6million in fines after pleading guilty to safety charges over the Thunder River Rapids ride tragedy. 

Kim Dorsett, mother of Kate Goodchild and Luke Dorsett, arrives to the Southport Magistrates Court on the Gold Coast on September 28

Kim Dorsett, mother of Kate Goodchild and Luke Dorsett, arrives to the Southport Magistrates Court on the Gold Coast on September 28

Ms Dorsett (pictured) said she has never felt so alone since losing her two children and cries everyday

Ms Dorsett (pictured) said she has never felt so alone since losing her two children and cries everyday

Kate Goodchild was among those who died in the Dream World tragedy

Luke Dorsett was among those who died in the Dream World tragedy

Kate Goodchild (pictured left) and Luke Dorsett (right) were among those who died in the Dream World tragedy

Ms Dorsett and her granddaughter Ebony Turner who survived the tragedy appeared in Southport Magistrates Court on Monday for the sentencing hearing. 

In a victim impact statement, the grieving mother said she will never be able to forget her granddaughter’s anguish.

‘(She said) ‘I can’t find Mummy’, words that will be with me until I take my last breath,’ she said, the Courier Mail reports.  

Ms Dorsett said she has never felt so alone since losing her two children and cries everyday. 

She told the court of the heartbreaking moment she last saw them. 

‘Kissing them one last time, they were as cold as ice,’ she said. 

‘I just wanted to wrap them in a blanket.’

The tragedy unfolded when a water pump malfunctioned causing water levels in the ride to fall dangerously low.

The victims’ raft collided with another after becoming stuck in the low water.

The gruesome scene at Dreamworld's Thunder River Rapids ride is pictured in 2016 following the tragedy

The gruesome scene at Dreamworld’s Thunder River Rapids ride is pictured in 2016 following the tragedy

It partially flipped, flinging the group into the mechanised conveyor that moved the rafts. 

The malfunction was the third that day and the fifth in a week, and no automated shutdown function was installed despite recommendations. 

Ebony and Ms Low’s son Kieran were in the raft during the horrific accident that killed their mothers. At the time, Ebony was just 12. 

Outside court Ms Dorsett said it would be a difficult day.

‘Absolutely (it will be difficult) just as it is every day,’ Ms Dorsett said.

Other family members of the victims are watching the sentence electronically. 

Workplace Health and Safety said Ardent Leisure failed to provide and maintain safe plant and structures and systems of work at the Gold Coast theme park.

Ebeony Turner is pictured leaving the Southport Magistrates Court on the Gold Coast, Monday

Ebeony Turner is pictured leaving the Southport Magistrates Court on the Gold Coast, Monday

Ebeony Turner's her uncle Luke Dorsett, along with his partner Roozi Aragh, where both killed on the Dreamworld ride

Ebeony Turner’s her uncle Luke Dorsett, along with his partner Roozi Aragh, where both killed on the Dreamworld ride 

Dreamworld's parent company Ardent Leisure faces up to $4.5 million in fines after pleading guilty to safety charges over the Thunder River Rapids ride tragedy.

Dreamworld’s parent company Ardent Leisure faces up to $4.5 million in fines after pleading guilty to safety charges over the Thunder River Rapids ride tragedy.

The company also failed to provide information, training, instruction or supervision necessary to protect people from risk.

In February, Coroner James McDougall referred Ardent Leisure to the Office of Industrial Relations, saying there was a ‘systemic failure’ at Dreamworld in all aspects of safety.

The inquest also found there had been no thorough engineering risk assessment of the Thunder River Rapids in the 30 years it was open to the public.

Dreamworld presented itself as a modern, world-class theme park, but its ‘frighteningly unsophisticated’ safety procedures were ‘rudimentary at best’, he said while delivering the inquest findings.

Dreamworld CEO John Osborne is seen leaving court after the $3.6million fine was handed down

Dreamworld CEO John Osborne is seen leaving court after the $3.6million fine was handed down

Timeline of Dreamworld tragedy 

 WHAT HAPPENED?

* On October 25, 2016, Cindy Low, Kate Goodchild, her brother Luke Dorsett and his partner Roozi Araghi were killed when a water pump on the Thunder River Rapids Ride malfunctioned, causing water levels to fall dangerously low.

* Their raft collided with another after becoming stuck in the low water and partially flipping, flinging the group into the mechanised conveyor that moved the rafts.

CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION

* In October 2017, police declined to file criminal charges against Dreamworld staff over the disaster.

INQUEST

* On June 18, 2018, coroner James McDougall launched an inquest into the tragedy.

* The inquest wrapped up after 31 days of testimony that savaged the theme park’s reputation.

* It unveiled a litany of problems and was heavily critical of Dreamworld’s training systems.

FINDINGS

* In February 2020, Mr McDougall referred Ardent Leisure to the Office of Industrial Relations.

* He said there was a “systemic failure” at Dreamworld in all aspects of safety.

* Mr McDougall found there had been no thorough engineering risk assessment of the Thunder River Rapids Ride in the 30 years it was open to the public.

* He said Dreamworld’s “frighteningly unsophisticated” safety procedures were “rudimentary at best”.

CHARGES LAID/GUILTY PLEA

* On July 21, 2020, Ardent Leisure was charged and pleaded guilty to three counts of failing to comply with health and safety legislation, and exposing individuals to a risk of serious injury or death.

SENTENCING

* Southport magistrate Pam Dowse on Monday fined Ardent $3.6 million, saying the company had failed in its primary safety duty to the public.

* The company knew of the risk of pump failure and the risk of rafts overturning before the accident, she said.

 Source: Australian Associated Press

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