Media Release

21 July 2020

The independent Work Health and Safety Prosecutor, Mr Aaron Guilfoyle, has laid charges against Ardent Leisure Limited regarding the tragic incident at Dreamworld in October 2016 where four people lost their lives on the Thunder River Rapids Ride.

Ardent Leisure has been charged with three offences under s.32 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, for failing to comply with its health and safety duty under the Act and exposing individuals to a risk of serious injury or death.

Each of the three charges allege the company failed to comply with its primary safety duty under s.19(2) of the Act. It is alleged Ardent Leisure failed to ensure, so far as was reasonably practicable:

  1. the provision and maintenance of safe plant and structures;
  2. provision and maintenance of safe systems of work; and
  3. the provision of information, training, instruction or supervision that was necessary to protect all persons from risks to their health and safety arising from work carried out as part of the conduct of the business or undertaking.

The maximum penalty is a fine of $4.5M, with each charge carrying a maximum penalty of a $1.5M fine.

Mr Guilfoyle confirmed he does not propose to lay any further charges in the matter.

The referral of a brief of evidence to the Prosecutor by the Office of Industrial Relations followed the release by Coroner James MacDougall in February this year of his findings resulting from an inquest into the tragedy.

The charges against Ardent Leisure will be mentioned in the Southport Magistrates Court on Wednesday 29 July 2020.

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