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Still no decision on Dreamworld reopening

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 2/11/2016 Ed Jackson

As victims' families begin preparing for funerals, Dreamworld chief executive Craig Davidson says there's still no timeline on when the Gold Coast theme park will reopen.

Dreamworld remains closed eight days after four people died on the Thunder River Rapids ride.

The bodies of the victims were released to families on Monday to enable them to begin funeral preparations.

Dreamworld had previously stated the park wouldn't reopen until at least after all four funerals were held.

Mr Davidson says no decision has been made as the park's first priority remains supporting the families of Canberra siblings Kate Goodchild and Luke Dorsett, his partner Roozbeh Araghi and New Zealand expat Cindy Low.

"We haven't got details at this stage on the timeline of the park reopening," he said.

"My focus here has been on the immediate needs of the families, the immediate needs of the police investigation and the immediate needs of our team."

Mr Davidson announced on Wednesday flowers laid outside the park by mourners in the days following the tragedy would be turned into a permanent living memorial inside the park.

He said Red Cross volunteers were caring for the tributes and would advise how best to use the flowers in the memorial.

Items such as cards and notes were being digitised by Dreamworld staff to be included.

As police continue to investigate the scene of the crime the day after holding a re-enactment on the raft ride in front of a coroner, returning staff continue to perform duties around the park.

Mr Davidson said the voluntary return of some workers had been a boost to all at the park.

"We're really encouraged by them coming back," he said.

"They're doing the best they can and it's great to be spending time with them."

Meanwhile, parent company chief executive Deborah Thomas has revealed she and her family have received threats via social media since the tragedy.

Ms Thomas has come under scrutiny for accepting a bonus during Ardent Leisure's annual general meeting and was criticised for not doing enough to contact family members of those killed.

Ms Thomas, who said the threats had been referred to police, admitted the company had handled the aftermath of the tragedy poorly.

"If, heaven forbid, we ever had to do this again, the decisions we made would be very different," she told the Australian Financial Review.

"I think I would probably still go through the police. That is the respectful thing to do rather than just hit them with a mobile phone call out of the blue.

"I would probably, maybe put more pressure to move more quickly with the police, if that was the case, or in some way have fronted the media to get that message through earlier."

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