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Dreamworld tragedy sparks Qld park tests

AAP logoAAP 28/10/2016 Ed Jackson

This week's Dreamworld tragedy has sparked a month-long safety crackdown across Queensland's theme parks, starting with the Gold Coast icon.

Workplace inspectors descended upon Dreamworld on Saturday in the first step of a government response to Tuesday's accident in which four people died on the Thunder River Rapids ride.

Other Queensland attractions - Movie World, Wet'n'Wild, Sea World, Aussie World and Australia Zoo - will be visited by inspectors over the month.

Employment and Industrial Relations Minister Grace Grace, who visited the floral tribute outside Dreamworld on Friday, said the crackdown was necessary to restore public confidence in the theme park industry ahead of the Christmas holidays.

Ms Grace said the inspections would be wide-ranging.

"They'll be looking at records inspection, maintenance and repair and manufacturer documentation in our theme parks," she said.

"Ride operator training and procedure records, along with controls and processes for taking out and returning equipment to service will also come under the spotlight in these safety audits."

The audits are expected to be completed by the end of November.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced at the Labor party state conference on the Gold Coast on Saturday that her government would also be undertaking an audit of Queensland's workplace health and safety laws.

Ms Palaszczuk told delegates her government wants to propose tougher penalties and introduce a new charge of gross negligence causing death to the laws.

"It is simply not enough for us to be compliant with our current laws, we need to be sure our laws keep pace with international research and new technologies," Ms Palaszczuk said.

Dreamworld, which remains closed as police continue to investigate the accident site, announced on Saturday a permanent memorial will be established within the park.

Four trees will be planted, one for each victim, as Dreamworld chief executive Craig Davidson announced no customer or guest would be left out-of-pocket during the park's closure.

Mr Davidson added all park staff would continue to be paid during the park's closure and staff will be invited to return to work on a non-compulsory basis from next week.

The park will remain closed to the public however until at least the completion of the funerals of the four victims.

Federal opposition leader Bill Shorten paid his respects on Saturday, laying flowers at the park's entrance.

Mr Shorten had earlier spoken of the "shadow" that hung over the state party conference during his keynote address, where delegates observed a minute's silence before proceedings began on Saturday.

"Let us spare a thought for those families trying to make some sense of what is simply a nightmare," he said.

"And all our hearts go out in grief and sympathy to those in the middle of this horrible tragedy."

Fundraising efforts for the victims continue to grow.

A fund set up to assist the partner and two children of victim Kate Goodchild has topped $48,000.

The mycause.com.au fund established by family friend Sandra Brookfield had raised $48,200 by Saturday afternoon.

Another $100,000 has been donated by 10 Gold Coast-based organisations through a separate fund at givit.org.au.

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