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Families of people killed in Dreamworld 2016 tragedy slam charges laid against the theme park

The families of those killed on a Dreamworld ride in 2016 have criticised the charges laid out against its parent company, labeling it as ‘a slap across the knuckles’.

Michael Cook, the brother of victim Cindy Low, said he was ‘fuming’ with how the case played out.

He flew from New Zealand to speak on the day of the inquest findings and said the Work Health and Safety prosecutor charges against Ardent Leisure, Dreamworld’s parent company, was ‘not bloody good enough’. 

Mr Cook’s sister died alongside Kate Goodchild, Luke Dorsett and Roozi Araghi when Dreamworld’s Thunder River Rapids ride malfunctioned in 2016.

The four were flung into a mechanised conveyor when their raft collided with another and partially flipped after the water pump failed, causing water levels to drop.  

The malfunction was the third that day and the fifth within a week.  

Ms Goodchild’s 12-year-old daughter and Ms Low’s 10-year-old son survived the tragedy unscathed.

‘I’m fuming,’ Mr Cook said.

‘(It’s) a slap across the knuckles for them and a lifetime of pain and loss for us.

‘Where is the accountability? Not bloody good enough.’

The three charges against the company carrying a maximum $1.5million penalty each, meaning Ardent Leisure could be forced to fork out $4.5million. 

There have not been any Dreamworld or Ardent executives charged as of yet, meaning the maximum penalty, if found guilty, will be the fine.

The case will go to court next week, the Courier Mail reported. 

The millions of dollars in compensation claims, paid by Dreamworld to those affected by the 2016 tragedy, has been borne by company insurers, it said.

The mother of victims Ms Goodchild and Mr Dorsett, who died alongside his partner Mr Araghi, said the fines the company was facing did not ‘change that fact or give those children (of Kate Goodchild and Cindy Low) back their mothers’. 

‘It’s four people who lost their lives,’ Kim Dorsett said.

‘It doesn’t change the daily problems in trying to get through each day … each birthday, anniversary, Mother’s Day, Christmas … that goes on forever.

‘Hopefully, the company will plead guilty and they’ll be held accountable.’

The Court Mail reported Shine Lawyers’ Melissa O’Neil, acting for more than a dozen people, said the witnesses, first responders and former Dreamworld staffers caught up in the ordeal  did not believe the penalties would go far enough.  

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