Queensland amusement rides and theme parks will be subject to tougher safety requirements that set world-class best practice safety standards, according to the State’s Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace.
The requirements have been announced ahead of the Coroner handing down the final report and recommendations into the Dreamworld tragedy.
The new safety regulations will amend existing work health and safety laws to:
· Mandate major inspections of rides by qualified engineers every ten years
· Improve competency and training of ride operators
· Mandate proper recording of inspections, maintenance and operator competency, and
· Mandate a new Safety Case and Licensing System for major amusement parks.
The stricter requirements would start on 1 May with a transition period of up to two years for certain matters.
Under current regulation, regular inspections of amusement rides are already required.
The new requirements mean a qualified engineer will need to take a ride offline for a number of weeks to conduct the major inspection involving a thorough examination of critical components and, if necessary, stripping down the device.
Minister Grace said changes by the Palaszczuk Government were about doing everything possible to ensure Queensland’s amusement rides and theme parks were as safe as possible.
“The tragedy at Dreamworld shocked and saddened us all,” Minister Grace said.
“We are taking action to ensure tourists and the wider community have faith in the safety measures that are in place.
“We are making these changes before the current coronial process is finalised because we are prioritising safety.
“We have made the Coroner aware of the changes.
“When the Coroner hands down his final report and recommendations, we will examine it closely and make any further changes we may need to.”
Minister Grace said the amendments set new standards that are world’s best practice for the industry.
“This will provide certainty for consumers and tourists and consistency across the industry,” she said.
“We have also employed three extra engineers within Workplace Health and Safety Queensland to oversee these strict new requirements.
“We announced we’d be making changes along these lines in August last year and have been consulting with key stakeholders.”