Theme park safety inspectors due at the Coast this week
AUSSIE World and Australia Zoo will be inspected by government workplace health and safety personnel within the next week, a spokesman for Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace has confirmed.
Nine safety inspectors visited theme parks on the Gold Coast over the weekend, after the State Government announced its month-long "safety blitz" on Saturday, following the fatal Dreamworld tragedy last Tuesday.
"It's very early days with how it's going - it's only been on a couple of days," the spokesman said.
"So there's no information available about how it's unfolding on the ground, but I've been told they're likely to be on the Sunny Coast at those two locations (Australia Zoo and Aussie World) within the week.
"A nine-strong inspection team is expected to be at the Sunshine Coast businesses within the week."
SATURDAY: Aussie World responds to theme park safety blitz plan
AUSSIE World has welcomed news that the State Government will inspect Dreamworld and other amusement parks in Queensland as part of a month-long safety blitz.
Workplace inspectors hit Dreamworld today, and will inspect other theme parks including the Sunshine Coast's Aussie World and Australia Zoo from tomorrow.
The blitz was sparked by Tuesday's fatal accident at Dreamworld, which claimed the lives of four people on the Thunder River Rapids ride and saw the entire park close as police investigate what could have caused the tragedy.
"Aussie World welcomes the maintenance and safety audit on all major Queensland theme parks on the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast as proposed by the State Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace," Aussie World chief operating officer Aaron Flanagan said.
"We reiterate that guest and employee safety is at the core of all decision making and activity at Aussie World.
"In the last 18 months Aussie World has invested heavily on skilled staff, independent industry specific consultants, workplace health and safety systems and major refurbishments.
"It is a program that is constantly reviewed and assessed on a daily basis."
In a statement issued at 8am, Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace said urgent action was required to ensure the safety of theme park visitors in the aftermath.
"Tuesday's tragic events reverberated around Australia and the world, and my heart goes out to the family and friends of those who lost their lives," she said.
"These events are being thoroughly investigated by authorities and in addition to this, safety auditors will be hitting Queensland theme parks from today."
Ms Grace said the audits will be completed by the end of November and be carried out by specialist inspectors and engineers.
"They'll be looking at records inspection, maintenance and repair and manufacturer documentation in our theme parks," she said.
"Ride operator training and procedure records, along with controls and processes for taking out and returning equipment to service will also come under the spotlight in these safety audits.
"This is about protecting visitors to our theme parks and restoring public confidence in Queensland's prime tourism assets ahead of the busy Christmas holiday season."
Australia Zoo was also contacted this morning but did not provide comment.