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Queensland theme parks face safety blitz after four deaths

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Village Roadshow Ltd's theme parks in Australia's Queensland state will be part of a month-long safety blitz starting Saturday after a fatal accident this week at Dreamworld, run by Ardent Leisure Group.

[SYDNEY] Village Roadshow Ltd's theme parks in Australia's Queensland state will be part of a month-long safety blitz starting Saturday after a fatal accident this week at Dreamworld, run by Ardent Leisure Group.

Safety auditors and engineers will carry out checks on amusement rides beginning with Dreamworld, before rolling them out to Wet'n'Wild, Sea World, Movie World, Aussie World and Australia Zoo, Queensland Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace said in a statement Saturday. Village Roadshow operates Wet'n'Wild, Sea World and Movie World.

Village Roadshow Theme Parks welcomed any initiative to enhance safety and would continue to work with all regulatory bodies, the company said in an e-mailed statement Saturday.

The company conformed with all government requirements to undertake and report on the safety of the rides at its theme parks and all required approvals and registrations were current, it said.

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Four people were killed Tuesday on the Thunder River Rapids ride at Dreamworld when a raft collided with another and flipped over. The ride had passed its annual mechanical and structural safety engineering inspection just four weeks earlier, Ardent said Thursday.

Ms Grace said the audits will be completed by the end of November and be carried out by specialist inspectors and engineers, who will be looking at records of inspection, maintenance and repair, plus manufacturer documentation.

The safety audits will also look at ride-operator training and procedure records, as well as controls and processes for taking out and returning equipment to service, she said.

"This is about protecting visitors to our theme parks and restoring public confidence in Queensland's prime tourism assets ahead of the busy Christmas holiday season," Ms Grace said in the statement.

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