Theme parks to face new regulations

INDUSTRIAL Relations Minister Grace Grace has announced new regulations to be brought in by the end of the year to improve safety at Queensland theme parks in the wake of the deadly Dreamworld disaster.

Ms Grace has told a Budget Estimates hearing the new rules, which are currently in draft form, will be given to the Queensland Coroner for consideration before coming into force by December if not before.

A view of the Thunder River Rapids ride where four people tragically lost their lives in October, 2016. Picture: AAP Image/Dan Peled
A view of the Thunder River Rapids ride where four people tragically lost their lives in October, 2016. Picture: AAP Image/Dan Peled

Ms Grace said the regulations would include a mandatory requirement for ride operators to be fully trained and competent.

She said there would also be mandatory, major inspections of all amusement rides as well as new detailed log book requirements for individual rides.

Four people died on Dreamworld's Thunder River Rapids ride in October 2016, in Australia's worst theme park disaster since seven people died in Luna Park's Ghost Train fire in 1979.

The Government last year released a report on potential changes to the state's workplace health and safety laws in the wake of the tragedy with the regulations the next step.

"We understand that there is a Coroner's Inquest happening at the moment and that hasn't been finalised," Ms Grace said of the changes.

"We will be ensuring that the Coroner is involved in the consultation.

"If there are any further recommendations that come from the inquest we will ensure that we will incorporate those and carry out those discussions into the regulations as well but these are seen as must haves to be implemented as soon as possible and we will be doing that."

"With compulsory training, we want to see mandatory training and competency requirements," Ms Grace said.

"It means every single amusement and theme park ride will be operated by a person who has been properly trained and assessed."

Ms Grace said the training would be tailored to each specific ride.

"With mandatory major inspections these will be comprehensive inspections. It might involve stripping down the ride, looking up what new technologies have come in," she said.

"The proposed regulations will also require Queensland theme parks to identify all hazards and potential incidents that may occur."

Ms Grace said that would include detailed risk assessments of individual rides and log books that would need to name operators and others associated with the running of the ride.

Certificates of currency could also be issued for rides - similar to those seen in elevators - to give the public confidence.



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