Dreamworld accident: Staff return to work despite theme park remaining closed

Sam Hussey and Caity Stone

Dreamworld CEO Craig Davidson has once again addressed the media to speak about the embattled theme park's speculated re-opening, revealing there are no current plans for the park to open its gates.

A resolute Davidson stated: “At this point there is no time frame or decision.

“I can confirm we will not be making a decision on reopening or providing a time frame at any stage this week.

Dreamworld CEO laid a wreath outside the theme park late last week. Source: 7 News.

He also confirmed that staff have once again resumed work at the park, almost a week after the tragedy that sent shock-waves around the world occurred.

“Today we have commenced a cautious and staged approach to allow staff to return to work at Dreamworld," Davidson continued.

“We have around 200 team members who have come to work today. Staff who are at work today are here because they want to be.

The autopsies on the four people tragically killed at Dreamworld last week have been completed and thier bodies returned to their loved ones.

“Returning to work has not been compulsory, it is for those staff who want to come back to the park and support their colleagues."

The CEO also confirmed that safety audits have begun on all rides at the theme park and said the results of the audits will be made public.

On Monday, the autopsies on the four victims were completed and their remains were returned to their loved ones.

The bodies of Kate Goodchild, her brother Luke Dorsett, his partner Roozbeh Araghi and New Zealand woman Cindy Low were repatriated, as their grieving families prepared for their funerals.

While their bodies have been released, the police investigation into their deaths on the Thunder River Rapids ride remains underway.

Mourners continue to leave floral tributes and host candle light vigils at the gates of Dreamworld. Photo: AAP

The theme park’s embattled parent company Ardent Leisure, which late last week voted to change their name to Main Event, also announced the appointment of a decorated recovery expert to help lead a much-needed healing process.

As the gates to Dreamworld stay firmly closed, Main Event are hoping a former Queensland police investigator will help those affected open up, while restoring some trust to the theme park.

Retired inspector Mike McKay led the 2011 flood disaster recovery team in Grantham and the Locker Valley and said he was now trying to get his head around “the logistics of this tragedy”.

Young girls walk through a floral tribute outside the Dreamworld Theme Park on the Gold Coast. Photo: AAP

“They are suffering. This isn’t going to be short-term, this is going to be long-term," Mr McKay said.

“It’s a very hard and long process and it’s still very raw, not only with the families but with the staff here at Dreamworld.”

Initial plans to reopen the theme park on Saturday were quickly retracted on the advice of Queensland police, with a revised reopening date to be confirmed following this week’s funerals.

Top news stories - October 31