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Law firm gathering Dreamworld ride stories

AAP logoAAP 28/10/2016 Tracey Ferrier

A law firm gathering information about the death of four patrons at Dreamworld has called for an overhaul of workplace health and safety laws.

Maurice Blackburn has received a flood of calls about the theme park accident that killed four adults, including from people who want their own bad experiences on Dreamworld rides to be recorded.

"A wide variety of people have called. People who have been directly involved, people who have been witnesses, people who weren't even there but have a story to tell," the firm's personal injury principal Alison Barrett told AAP.

Ms Barrett said the law firm was in the process of gathering information relevant to the Dreamworld tragedy, but most people weren't interested in any compensation that might be offered down the track.

"People want reassurance; to know that this is not going to happen again and that they can feel safe going to places like Dreamworld."

Ms Barrett hopes the coronial investigation into the Dreamworld deaths will spark desperately needed reforms of workplace health and safety laws.

She said the Newman government had overhauled the legal landscape in 2011, putting a far greater emphasis on self-regulation.

"Since 2011, we've gone from Workplace Health and Safety doing an average of 100 prosecutions a year, to 20 or 30 now."

She said members of the former LNP government, and specifically former attorney-general Jarrod Bleijie, bear responsibility for sliding standards.

"They have played a very significant role in that. It was Jarrod Bleijie's portfolio. And it all occurred under their watch."

Ms Barrett said that under current workplace health and safety laws, the maximum penalty Dreamworld could face if breaches are identified in this week's deaths is a fine of up to $3 million.

"The directors can also be held personally liable and face jail time of up to five years or penalties of up to $600,000 each," she said.

"But there is no industrial manslaughter charge where a director would be criminally responsible in Queensland."

She said that's also true for most of Australia, but believes it's time for the federal government to show leadership and encourage states and territories to change that.

AAP is seeking comment from Mr Bleijie and the Palaszczuk Labor government.

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