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Dreamworld fined $3.6m over ride tragedy

A heartbroken mother who lost two children in the Dreamworld Thunder River Rapids tragedy fought back tears as she relived her final moments with her children.

Cindy Low, Kate Goodchild, her brother Luke Dorsett and his partner Roozi Araghi were killed in a catastrophic accident after a water pump failed and they plunged into the mechanism of the popular attraction in October 2016.

Kate's daughter Ebony Turner, then just 12, dangled precariously from the raft, held into her seat by a simple velcro seatbelt as the four tourists were pulled beneath the water and into the conveyor belt.

Cindy Low's son Kieran, 10, also survived.

Kim Dorsett, mother of Kate and Luke and surrogate mother of Luke's partner Roozi, told Southport Magistrate Court on Monday of the last time she saw her children.

"The were lying in a box, lovingly selected, and I kissed them goodbye, one last time," Ms Dorsett said.

"They were cold as ice.

"I just wanted to cover them with a blanket to warm them up."

Dreamworld's parent company Ardent Leisure on Monday was fined $3.6 million - the largest ever imposed in Queensland for a workplace tragedy - after earlier pleading guilty to safety charges.

The company admitted breaching the Work Health and Safety Act and exposing individuals to a risk of serious injury or death.

Magistrate Pam Dowse said the company had failed to protect the public.

"The defendant operated the most iconic amusement park in the country- it targeted and attracted families," Ms Dowse said.

"Complete and blind trust was placed in the defendant by every person who rode the Thunder River Rapids ride and those guests were extremely vulnerable.

"The Thunder River Rapids ride was incorrectly regarded as one of the safest rides in the park."

Workplace Health and Safety prosecutor Aaron Guilfoyle said the direct cause of the accident was a water pump malfunction which led to dangerously low water levels.

The doomed raft collided three times with another before being pulled into the mechanism.

"It ripped pieces of fibreglass from the raft which shook violently causing Ms Goodchild and Mr Dorsett to fall," Mr Guilfoyle said.

"Ms Turner was held dangling in her seat by the velcro seatbelt and Roozi Araghi and Cindy Low seated at the rear of the raft were pulled into the moving components."

He outlined a litany of failures to adequately ensure the ride was operated safely including poor maintenance and inadequate shutdown procedures.

The company also failed to provide information, training, instruction or supervision necessary to protect people from risk.

The pump malfunction was the third that day and the fifth in a week, and no automated shutdown function was installed despite recommendations.

"The ride had been in operation for 30 years - the pumps were bound to fail at some point," he said.

"There were failures to implement the control measures which would have minimised or eliminated the risk in the circumstances of a pump failure.

"They are as much the cause as the pump failure."

Outside the court, Dreamworld CEO John Osbourne apologised unreservedly for the past circumstances and failure that resulted in the deaths of four people and the ongoing impact of the tragedy.

"I would also like to express our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Roozi Araghi, Luke Dorsett, Kate Goodchild and Cindy Low for their enormous loss.

"It is impossible to comprehend how the families feel. It was heartbreaking to hear their statements today and my thoughts and prayers are with them.

"Ardent accepts full responsibility for this tragedy and fully accepts the court's decision."

Following the accident, the theme park has completely overhauled its safety systems, he said.

"I sincerely hope that now that the prosecution has been finalised that this will go some way to furthering the healing process for the families and all those deeply impacted by this tragedy."

© AAP 2020