Courtney Williams gave evidence in the inquest. Picture: AAP Image/Darren England
Courtney Williams gave evidence in the inquest. Picture: AAP Image/Darren England

Staffer says bosses ‘never visited’ ride operators

A JUNIOR Dreamworld staffer has claimed supervisors never checked her work while she operated rides before the tragedy that claimed four lives at the Gold Coast theme park.

Courtney Williams, who was one of two staff operating the Thunder River Rapids ride on October 25, 2016, has completed giving evidence at an inquest on Thursday.

Ms Williams faced questioning over her training by Dreamworld's lawyer, Bruce Hodgkinson SC, who asked if supervisors would "come by and talk to you and see that you were operating (rides) all right".

"No ... they never visited," she replied.

The inquest has heard Ms Williams, who had been working at the park for about two years before the tragedy, was working for the first time as a load operator on the ride.

She received 90 minutes of training before her shift started. Ms Williams had signed off that she had received training as a deckhand and load operator but also denied she had read a memorandum during training detailing the use of an emergency stop button.

"Why did you sign the form next to the memo that you knew you hadn't seen?" Mr Hodgkinson asked.

Mathew Low, husband of victim Cindy Low. Picture: AAP Image/Darren England
Mathew Low, husband of victim Cindy Low. Picture: AAP Image/Darren England

She replied: "I had seen a memo previously, which was about the Thunder River Rapids ride." A raft carrying six people collided with another raft causing it to lift up to a vertical position when the water level dropped on the 30-year-old ride after a water pump failed.

Cindy Low, Kate Goodchild, her brother Luke Dorsett and his partner Roozi Araghi all died while Ms Goodchild's 12-year-old daughter and Ms Low's 10-year-old son survived.

Ms Williams' lawyer, Peter Callaghan, said her emotional state was "not good" and she was "highly distressed" after giving evidence the previous day.

She was asked had she been aware of an emergency stop button, it was within reach and she saw the tragedy unfolding, would she have pressed it.

"I would have done everything I could have to do that," she said. On Wednesday, she said during training for the Thunder River Rapids she was told not to worry about the emergency stop button and she "did not need to use it".

CCTV cameras were installed on the log ride for operators to monitor guests. Picture: Supplied
CCTV cameras were installed on the log ride for operators to monitor guests. Picture: Supplied

 

The inquest continues. Picture: AAP Image/Dan Peled
The inquest continues. Picture: AAP Image/Dan Peled

She also claimed to have felt under pressure by senior management not to speak to police.

Ride operator Timothy Williams, who is still employed by Dreamworld, told the inquest on Thursday there was no "practical scenario training" for dealing with emergencies.

He also said water levels dropping would not have been considered an emergency under Dreamworld procedures, rather an "operating problem".

Meanwhile, Coroner James McDougall has criticised lawyers for repeat questioning of witnesses.

"We're halfway through day four and we're halfway through our fourth witness," he said.

"We have another 31 witnesses to go."


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