A Hobart commercial radio station has apologised after one of its breakfast presenters made a joke in reference to the deaths at the Dreamworld theme park.
The comments came during the 7HO FM breakfast program’s secret sound segment.
When the crunching sound was played on air, presenter Anna Dare asked: “It’s not getting stuck in a conveyer belt at a theme park is it … too soon?”
Her co-presenter Mick Newell groaned, prompting Ms Dare to respond: “That’s what it sounds like to me when I first heard it, that’s the first thing I thought of, I don’t like it, it’s just a yucky sound.”
The station’s owner Grant Broadcasters confirmed in a statement the presenter had been suspended.
CEO Grant Cameron said the comment was deeply regrettable.
“The announcer’s remark demonstrated a serious lapse in judgement and we sincerely apologise to our listeners, the broader community and everyone affected by this week’s terrible tragedy,” he said in the statement.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of those who lost their lives.”
Mr Cameron said the announcer was “devastated” by her “lapse”.
“This was a dreadful mistake and the announcer is devastated at such a lapse. As employers, we must also consider her well-being,” he said.
Announcer to undergo counselling, training after incident
Grant Broadcasters statement said the announcer would undergo counselling and training as a result of the incident.
A decision would be made at a later date about when she might return to an on-air role, the statement said.
The CEO of Dreamworld’s parent company Ardent Leisure announced on Thursday she would donate thousands of dollars to charity, after coming under fire at her company’s AGM for failing to contact the families of victims in the aftermath of this week’s tragedy.
Deborah Thomas was awarded a performance bonus for the past financial year when Ardent Leisure held its AGM in Sydney on Thursday.
But late on Thursday afternoon, she announced she was donating the entire amount to the Red Cross, which would ensure 100 per cent of the money was “directed to support people affected by this tragic event”.
Public servants Kate Goodchild, her brother Luke Dorsett and his partner Roozbeh Araghi were killed alongside 42-year-old Cindy Low when the ride malfunctioned on Tuesday.
The ABC obtained more than 150 pages of documents from Queensland Workplace Health and Safety (QWHS), showing safety concerns dating back to 2012.
Dreamworld moved to defend its safety record in light of documents that show previous allegations of safety breaches.
The Gold Coast theme park will remain closed on Friday, after cancelling earlier plans for a memorial day, due to the ongoing Queensland Police Service investigation.