Dreamworld expected to reopen before “busy Christmas time”

UPDATE 3:00PM | DREAMWORLD is expected to reopen in time for the busy Christmas holidays, according to Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace.

Speaking to reporters on Friday, Ms Grace said the theme park was meeting its safety audit requirements and should be able to welcome visitors again when the holiday season begins next month.

The minister says there are still 10 issues to be addressed before it can open, but none of them relate to the safety of patrons.


“My understanding is Dreamworld is anticipating to open before the busy Christmas time. I welcome that they are going to make sure everything is ticked off before they do that,” Ms Grace said.

“We want to assure the public and improve the public confidence … that all the safety checks have been completed.

“I will be more than happy to visit Dreamworld and go on any one of their rides, not only at Dreamworld but all the other theme parks on the Gold Coast.”

UPDATE 2:30PM | None of the 10 notices issued to Dreamworld after a full audit of the theme park concern guest safety, but some relate to maintenance workers and their practices.

Dreamworld today released full details of the Workplace Health and Safety Queensland audit of the slides and rides at the theme park.

The 10 notices issued include the replacement of a faded “Emergency Stop” button on a water slide, and concern with anchor points for a safety harness used by maintenance workers on the BuzzSaw ride.

An error was also identified in the procedures staff used to maintain a safety chain on the BuzzSaw.

Inspectors found an extra inter-lock gate for the operator’s control booth was required to restrict operator access to the ride platform while the ride is operating.

Other issues related to procedure and paperwork improvements.

Dreamworld CEO Craig Davidson said all WHSQ notices would be addressed before WhiteWater World and Dreamworld reopened.

“We would like to acknowledge how much we have valued the constructive and expert contribution from WHSQ, with whom we enjoy a thoroughly professional relationship,” he said.

Workplace Health and Safety Queensland inspectors have completed their safety audits of every amusement ride at Dreamworld.

Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace said Dreamworld had cooperated fully with the audit teams.

“I welcome Dreamworld’s commitment to comply with these notices in full before re-opening,” she said.

“No amusement ride at Dreamworld will open unless it’s 100 per cent safe.”

Ms Grace said last month’s tragic events which claimed the lives of four tourists marked a turning point for Dreamworld.

“I’ve been encouraged in my meetings with Dreamworld management that the park is ready to move forward towards re-opening.

“Dreamworld is committed to robust safety systems and procedures and they’ve engaged international amusement device inspection specialists to oversee the re-opening, and I welcome this.

Ms Grace said to date 65 audits had been completed at Dreamworld, WhiteWater World, Movieworld and Wet‘n’Wild.

“Audits of amusement rides at Seaworld, Aussie World and Australia Zoo are ongoing and will be completed by the end of November.

“These audits are about assuring theme park visitors and ensuring public confidence in Queensland’s prime tourism attractions ahead of the busy Christmas holiday season.”

Mr Davidson reconfirmed that in addition to the WHSQ audit, all Dreamworld and WhiteWater World rides, slides and operations are being subjected to a comprehensive additional safety review before being reopened.

Royal Life Saving Queensland representatives are on site this week to audit the pools and lifesaving procedures at WhiteWater World.

“Safety is our paramount concern,” Mr Davidson stressed.

“This additional review is a methodical process which we have repeatedly advised will not be rushed.

“We are unswervingly committed to go well beyond legislative requirements to ensure every one of our 24 rides and 10 water slides at Dreamworld and WhiteWater World exceed even the most stringent of safety measures.

“We are confident of being able to announce a reopening date for both parks very soon … our hearts and thoughts remain firmly with the families and their loved ones involved in the tragic incident and we will continue to keep their representatives informed of our plans.”

EARLIER: Workplace Health and Safety QLD have completed their inspections at Dreamworld, finding no guest safety issues in any of its 34 rides.

Inspectors examined all rides and slides at WhiteWater World and Dreamworld, concluding there were no concerns relating to guest safety.

There were notices for minor improvements and procedures, including recommendations to use durable tags on electrical equipment, and staff to wear protective equipment while handling pool chemicals.

Dreamworld has addressed, or is in the process of addressing, all 10 of these issues.

The inspection of all Queensland theme parks comes after four people lost their lives on Dreamworld’s Thunder River Rapids Ride on the 25th of October.

 – Additional reporting by Tony Bartlett & Jaydan Duck