Community recovery expert to help Dreamworld, Gold Coast ‘rebuild’

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Dreamworld chief executive Craig Davidson will work with Inspector Mike McKay, whop was appointed by Ardent Leisure boss Deborah Thomas. Photo: Tammy LawA community recovery expert has been appointed by Dreamworld’s management to provide advice on the Dreamworld and Gold Coast community recovery process following the recent disaster.
Nanjing Night Net

Inspector Mike McKay accepted the position offered by Ardent Leisure, the operator of Dreamworld, on Sunday to work closely with the park’s CEO Craig Davidson to provide advice on the Dreamworld and the Gold Coast community recovery following the death of four adults on one of the theme park’s rides on Tuesday.

Ardent Leisure CEO Deborah Thomas said Inspector McKay, the recipient of the Australian Police Medal for his 41-year contribution to policing in Queensland, was appointed on the personal recommendation of the state’s Police Commissioner Ian Stewart.

Mr McKay said his first order of business was understanding the logistics of the tragedy which claimed four lives, with a long-term goal to restore international trust.

“I have asked the Dreamworld CEO, Craig Davidson, to develop a structured program of community healing to work with the families, authorities, the government, non-government organisations and the public to rebuild trust and confidence in Dreamworld,” she said.

“Then and only then can we think about reopening our park.

“Dreamworld has suffered an absolute tragedy. It has devastated families and our surrounding community. We need to rebuild.

The appointment comes just days after Ardent Leisure faced criticisms over its public response to the nation’s worst park tragedy in decades.

Meanwhile a Workplace Health and Safety spokesperson said the investigation into what caused the Thunder River Rapids ride malfunction could take “several weeks or a few more days”.

“It depends on the inspectors,” he said.

“Having listened to some of the briefings, we may have some updates in the week in terms of the state of the investigation.”

Two fundraisers have been set up to support the families of the four who lost their lives on Tuesday.

Sandra Brookfield, who calls herself a “close family friend of the family” has managed to raise more than $50,000 from more than 900 donations.

It is understood the funds are expected to go towards a memorial fund for the daughters, aged 12 and eight months, of Kate Goodchild.

National, not-for-profit GIVIT has also set up an official fund for the families and community members affected by Tuesday’s tragedy after it was approached by the City of the Gold Coast on recommendation by the state government.

The charity entered into an official partnership with the Queensland government in 2013 for the management of all donated goods and services during the recovery phase of natural disasters.

It is understood at least $100,000 has been donated so far from a range of Gold Coast businesses.

-with AAP

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