Plans to reopen Dreamworld tomorrow have been put on hold after orders from Queensland police.
The theme park was due to open for a memorial service for staff, visitors and emergency services staff following the tragic deaths of four people on the Thunder River Rapids Ride this week. The park planned to open some of its smaller rides and attractions, with all proceeds going to the Red Cross.
However, according to news.com.au, the police have advised the park not to open.
“Dreamworld has been advised by Queensland Police Services (QPS) that we are unable to proceed with tomorrow’s memorial service as planned,” the park said in a statement.
“Obviously the integrity of the Coronial Investigation is of paramount importance and postponing the service will give QPS the time it needs to conduct this investigation.
“We will provide an update to the media on Monday with regard to the memorial service and re-opening of the Park.”
According to SBS.com.au, police still have a warrant for the park that lasts until at least next Tuesday.
The announcement came just hours after Deborah Thomas, the CEO of Ardent Leisure, which owns Dreamworld, fronted an annual general meeting.
“It is under extremely sad circumstances that we gather here in Sydney for the AGM two days after the tragic deaths of four people at Dreamworld,” Ardent Leisure chief executive Deb Thomas said.
“I would like to express our deepest and most heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of the people killed in this tragedy. Our thoughts are with them and particularly with their children.
“Our immediate concerns remain with the families of the victims and how we can assist them in this difficult time. We are also focused on our affected visitors and staff.
“There is very little that I can say today except that we are working closely with authorities to examine exactly how this happened.”
Just hours before the accident, shareholders approved a reported $860,000 bonus for Thomas.
When asked whether remuneration resolutions should be deferred in light of recent events, outgoing chairman Neil Balnaves said it was “nigh impossible” and that the “company has to be run”.
“The coronial inquiry, the workplace health and safety inquiry under the Queensland government and our own internal inquiries are going to take months.
“It would just be absolutely impossible to not run the company without the required resolutions to do so under company law, we can’t avoid that.”
“I must admit it hasn’t been the most urgent priority as dealing with the death of four people which has occupied most of our time,” he said. “There will be a continuing effect I expect for the rest of the financial year.”
“This is a tragedy of a proportion never seen in this business before,” he said. “We’ve had 35 million people through the gate and we’ve never had a tragedy like this. The size and the impact of this is just awful.”
A comment on Dreamworld's Facebook page suggesting that the theme park be shut on October 25 every year in memory of the four people who died has received 1.8k likes.