Company Fined for 2016 Dreamworld Deaths

Ardent Leisure, Dreamworld’s parent company have been fined $3.6 million after the deaths of four people on the Thunder River Rapids Ride in 2016. The company was found guilty of three breaches of workplace health and safety laws with a maximum penalty of $4.5 million.

The Southport Magistrates Court handed down the decision after hearing from emotional statements from family members who witnessed the deaths. Ardent Leisure accepted full responsibility for the deaths and was charged with three counts of failure to comply with Health and Safety Duty, Category 2 under the Queensland Health and Safety Act.

A coronial inquest conducted into the four deaths found that a number of safety and maintenance systems at the park had failed. The Work Health and Safety prosecutor Aaron Guilfoyle said,

“The failures of the defendant were not momentary. The failures did not occur solely on the day of the incident, they were failures well before then, which led ultimately to what transpired. This is a rare case in which a penalty close to the available maximum is appropriate.”

Ardent Leisure expressed its sympathy to the families and those impacted by the tragedy. Since the fatal accident Ardent Leisure has been working with industry experts to bring Dreamworld’s safety and systems up to standard. This includes engineering reviews, situational emergency training, training for staff and developing new safety regulations for theme parks with the Queensland Government.

The fine imposed is the largest workplace fine in Queensland history for a workplace tragedy. Additionally Ardent has paid compensation to most families, first responders and others impacted by the tragedy.

This is a tragic example of the consequences of poorly managed health and safety. Contact ProcessWorx to learn about our Safety Packages for small businesses and farms on (08) 9316 9896 or

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Marisa Ross

HR Advisor

Marisa is an experienced and motivated HR professional with a strong HR generalist and business operations background with a focus on employee relations, performance management, leadership training & development, workers compensation & injury management, and employee retention. Marisa holds a Bachelor of Human Resource Management and a Bachelor of Behavioural Science with a minor in Counselling. Having worked in a variety of industries from SMEs to large blue-chip organisations, Marisa is passionate about enriching employee experience, employee retention, and building leadership capability in people management.

Aimee Grigson

Aimee Grigson

WHS Advisor

Aimee has a strong understanding of Workplace Health and Safety Legislation and standards and has extensive HSEQ experience in a number of industries. Aimee has a great ability to engage across all levels of organisation, including field teams, leadership and external stakeholders. Aimee ensures Health and Safety Management Systems are compliant to legislation, effectively implemented and understood by all. Aimee has a Certificate IV in Work Health and Safety and qualifications in auditing and incident investigations. Aimee is passionate about coaching and developing small businesses towards a positive safety culture.