4CA - Queensland's Home for Fake News

4CA - Queensland's Home for Fake News
4CA - Queensland's Home for Fake News Led by John "Cueball" Mackenzie

30 October 2016


The Skyrail rainforest ride is an important drawcard to the Cairns region for tourists from around the world.  It's essentially an amusement park ride - not unlike the Thunder Rapids ride at Dreamworld, which this week claimed four lives.

Reports that come from current Skyrail workers express anger than the Queensland State Government has not included Skyrail in their hurried inspection and audit of amusement park rides, especially with Skyrail's checkered management history.

Skyrail has thus far refused to comment.  But Skyrail has a history of accidents, some of which were considered by the public "close calls".  

And Cairns Skyrail management (led by former TTNQ head Bill Calderwood) was sacked in 2008 by the Hong Kong Government after a cable car fell some 50 meters off the Ngong Ping 360 Skyrail near Lantau Island.  In September 2005 it was "big news" in Cairns as Ken Chapman announced that the family-run Skyrail company would be managing the Hong Kong project based on their "experience" running the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway in Cairns.  

Less than two years later, the Hong Kong government report found Skyrail-ITM grossly negligent in the accident and tore up their 20 year contract to run the ropeway attraction.  The Hong Kong government assumed management of the tramway under the Hong Kong MTR, the subway and transit operator.  No further accidents have occurred.

Why is the Cairns attracting getting no attention by the Queensland State Government?  Is FNQ even still considered part of Queensland by the pollies running our state? 

The bigger problem for all of these attractions is the lack of unified, government-led inspections.  Skyrail, like Dreamworld, claim they contract for engineering inspections on a regular basis.  But how balanced and independent are inspections done by the people who then pay your inspection bill?  

Radio loudmouth John MacKenzie routinely scaremongers about the crocodiles by claiming that a "tourist death by a croc will kill the Cairns tourism industry".  Leaving aside the absurdity of this hyperbole, why has Cueball remained mum about potential deaths on Skyrail?  A little too close to your advertiser base, eh Macca!

A majority of amusement parks in Australia belong to the Australian Amusement, Leisure, and Recreation Association which has worked to set some Standards for the operation and maintenance of these kinds of attractions.  Skyrail apparently does NOT belong to the AALRA, so is missing even this level of scrutiny and guidance. 

The inspection and permitting of amusement park rides in most other advanced countries is done not by private companies, but by government agencies.  

California is a case in point.  Like most states in America, California has a dedicated inspection team that conduct routine, random, and complaint-driven inspections into amusement park rides, tramways, and waterparks.  This ON TOP OF the dozens of degreed-engineers employed by the major parks to assess their equipment on a continual basis.  Americans aren't relying on complaints from a worker's union to peak their curiosity into the safety of the public.  And this is ON TOP OF federal regulations and standards.

Queensland's Workplace Health and Safety has hundreds of pages of reports on Skyrail, Dreamworld, and other amusement parks.  Requests for these documents already made get only heavily redacted documents that give NO ONE any confidence.  (ABC has some of the documents available HERE).  What is the government hiding from the public?

The Cairns tourism industry deserves the same protection and safety standards as elsewhere in Queensland. But with the Cairns (un)Regional Council unwilling to listen to the opinions of medical professionals, it's hard to see them supporting engineering professionals, either.  


Anonymous said...

I noticed on of the Facebook posts in the southern media mentions various safety issues at Queensland schools especially anything built in Cairns by QBuild. Well I can tell you that is true and is being covered up to protect a certain Cairns based QBuild manager.

Anonymous said...

Chapman and his family are part of the establishment. They have been in Cairns a very long time and have lots of political connections. Dreamworld and other like destinations have been lucky for years, the adventure industry always plays down any risk by trumpeting worlds best practices etc. Youu dodge a bullet every time you get on a gondola or a ride at the Cairns show. Unfortunately for the families involved at Dreamworld they had no such luck. Mckenzie would never ever raise this issue on his show, his station has a vested interest. The audience is only interested in bagging drunken indigenous people, immigrants and welfare recipients.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, I do know from 1st hand experience that many of the world's attractions feature some detailed and intricate rides designed in Europe but created, fabricated, welded and painted in Ningbo-region - China by a consortium that includes Hong Kong, Europe, Macau and a Brisbane-based organisation that may has a name that is opposite to the Moon. Just saying that many of these rides are made in China and the Inspections "SHALL" be carried out at the place of manufacture and SHALL be carried out in a highly-professional, methodical mode under Australian Standard guidelines using Australian personnel whom are trained in Australian Standards workmanship...not USA or Chinese Standards. If this cannot occur, then don't get them made OS, let's do it here in OZ. So they cost a bit more do they? Well costs v lives is not the issue and should never be as that is akin to looking forward to hindsight contemplation or post-incident Omphaloskepsis.

Anonymous said...

With no disrespect to those who die at Dreamworld, how many Queenslanders are killed each year due to dodgy Government infrastructure such as poor road condition, poor design, unserviceable components, lack of signage, no tail boom gate, etc etc etc. Answer is - plenty! Cairns roads are complete shit. So are the many dangerous footpaths and even Council owned buildings. The death on the airport road due to there being no footpath is a prime example. I don't hear the local media calling for the scalps of Council and airport executives over that?
Sadly the media chooses which stories will make money, Dreamworld is no exception. And just google the USA and you will see multiple deaths on fair rides, roller coasters etc over the years, many. It's nothing new. But knowing how Cairns operates under the gaze of dodgy Councils over the years and even dodgier builders and engineers it wouldn't surprise me if the Skyrail has more problems than the public realise. Maybe HBW can apply under FOI for the reports over the past 10 years??

Anonymous said...

Well they worry about Dreamworld rides, what about the 40,000 litres of leaking aviation fuel under the international Tarmac which Cairns airport kept hushed up for years? Caused by dodgy welds an a lack of stabilised earth beneath the pipes. What about the most recent CASA audit findings relating to the airport? What about airport management sacking compliance staff and the external annual technical inspection auditor due to their allegedly raising serious findings? That is a culture that is far from embracing safety. Yet nothing gets done about it. Old Browny did the bolt, but the rest of those responsible remain on the payroll. Only in Cairns does this stuff happen boys and girls.

Anonymous said...

Hey Anonymous (30/10/16 20:53)

Not sure you nailed the Macca top three. Add Crocodiles, wild pigs, slack police, idiot Magistrates/Judges, do-gooders AKA community workers... oh I've lost count ... how long before Martin Tenni gets on to talk about"nig***rs" and the recently announced LNP "Dream Team" get to the airwaves to get the host to spruik their credentials above all other candidates.

Expect a long drawn out vomit inducing LNP campaign to start soon on the 846Khz wave length.

Unless the new owners have scruples..................