The Queensland Government is working closely with theme park operators to ensure the state’s world class amusement ride safety laws and regulations continue to attract surging crowds.
Addressing the Australian Amusement, Leisure and Recreation Association (AALARA) Conference and Trade Showcase on the Gold Coast, Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace said the occasion marked the first anniversary of major changes to safety requirements which give thrill seekers the confidence local rides and attractions were among the safest in the world.
Minister Grace said new regulations had been phased in over two years, which require major amusement parks to submit a safety case to Workplace Health and Safety Queensland and comprehensive inspections of older amusement devices.
Ms Grace said the comprehensive regulations gave effect to recommendations made in the Best Practice Review of Workplace Health and Safety Queensland. She said remaining recommendations relating to the regulatory framework were being addressed via a new code of practice for amusement devices, ensuring the public had confidence in the industry.
The new world class regulatory framework improves the safety standard for amusement rides and theme parks in Queensland. As well as the annual audits of major amusement parks, 33 additional inspectors have been employed, including three engineers, to oversee new safety requirements. The inspectors receive specific training on amusement device safety on top of the comprehensive training they already do.
Ms Grace praised the industry for its level of compliance with the new safety laws and pledged to work with ride operators as well as other state safety regulators on consistent requirements and to address issues affecting the industry. Rising insurance costs, a shortage of qualified engineers, COVID-19, and exorbitant fuel costs have hit the industry hard.
Ms Grace thanked industry and conference representatives for their input in drawing up the code of practice and for working with the Government to achieve world’s best practice.
“Between us I know we are committed to providing the highest safety standards, from rides at carnivals and school fairs, to those at our major theme parks,” she said.