News State Queensland Dreamworld operator pleads guilty over deadly ride accident
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Dreamworld operator pleads guilty over deadly ride accident

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The operators of Dreamworld have pleaded guilty in the Southport Magistrates Court to three charges relating to the deaths of four people in 2016 at the Gold Coast theme park.

It is alleged that Ardent Leisure failed to comply with its health and safety duty, exposing individuals to a risk of serious injury or death.

Cindy Low, Kate Goodchild, Luke Dorsett and his partner Roozi Araghi died when their raft on the Thunder River Rapids Ride collided with an empty raft and flipped on October 25, 2016.

A boy and girl, aged 10 and 12, were on the same raft but managed to escape.

dreamworld tragedy guilty plea
From left: Cindy Low, Kate Goodchild, Luke Dorsett and Roozi Araghi died on the ride. Photo: ABC

A coronial inquest into the four deaths made findings of a series of failures at the park, including safety and maintenance systems that the coroner described as “rudimentary at best” and “frighteningly unsophisticated”.

Ardent Leisure was charged with three counts of Failure to Comply with Health and Safety Duty, Category 2, under the Queensland Health and Safety Act.

The maximum penalty for each breach is $1.5 million – $4.5 million in total.

In a brief appearance on Wednesday, the company’s legal representative Bruce Hodgkinson SC told Magistrate Michelle Dooley that Ardent Leisure instructed him to plead guilty to all three charges.

Formal arraignment will take place in the same court on September 28.

-ABC