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Ardent Leisure pleads guilty

A sentence hearing has been set for 28 September in the Southport Magistrates Court for Dreamworld’s parent company, Ardent Leisure,after it pleaded guilty to three charges under Queensland’s work safety laws over the death of four people on the Thunder River Rapids Ride in 2016.

With each charge carrying a maximum penalty of $1.5m, Ardent faces possible fines totalling $4.5m.

The independent Work Health and Safety Prosecutor, Aaron Guilfoyle, laid charges against Ardent Leisure Limited under s.32 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, for failing to comply with its health and safety duty and exposing individuals to a risk of serious injury or death.

Each of the three charges had alleged the company failed to comply with its primary safety duty under s.19(2) of the Act, namely that the company failed to ensure, so far as was reasonably practicable, the provision and maintenance of safe plant and structures and safe systems of work, as well as the provision of information, training, instruction or supervision necessary to preserve health and safety.

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.

Further information

Read industrial prosecution court reports at www.owhsp.qld.gov.au