Family of the four people who died in an accident at Dreamworld on Tuesday have asked for privacy, and said any further contact from Dreamworld should be through their solicitors.
Shane Goodchild, the father of Kate Goodchild and Luke Dorsett, and Dave Turner, Kate's partner, fronted up to a media conference in Canberra on Friday. Reading a short prepared statement, Mr Goodchild spoke of the grief and anguish of the families.
"I have lost my only daughter Kate, my youngest son Luke. We have also lost Roozie, Luke's beloved partner, whom I considered to be another son. Kate, Luke and Roozbeh were taken so suddenly from us and in such horrific circumstances," he said.
"Perhaps some thanks are the easiest place to start. We cannot begin to express how much we appreciate the outpouring of love and support our families have received from friends as well as from complete strangers. We understand that this tragic has not only directly affected our families but so many other people around the country."
Goodchild said Turner was standing next to the Thunder River Rapids ride, holding his eight-month-old daughter, when the accident occurred that killed the four people. His other daughter, Ebony, was thrown from the raft but survived.
"Dave has to deal with not only his grief but be strong for his daughters," Goodchild said.
"Evie is only eight months old, far too young to be without a mother."
"We'd also like to express our condolences to the family of Cindy Low. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Cindy and her family, especially her son who was sitting on the raft."
Goodchild brought up the controversy around the assistance Dreamworld has given to the families since the accident. A journalist claimed at an Ardent Leisure press conference on Thursday that a family told her that Dreamworld had not yet contacted them.
"There have been questions about whether the company has tried to contact us or offer any assistance. At this difficult time we would prefer any further contact from the company or media to be made through our solicitor," he said.
"Once we have the opportunity to better come to term with our losses, we will be willing to engage with the media."
They also did not enter into speculation on the cause of the accident.
"Like everyone else in Australia we want to know what went wrong. We want to know why our loved ones were taken from us in such horrific circumstances. Noone wants those answers more than we do," Goodchild said.
"We do not wish to make any comments about the actions of Dreamworld and its owners at this stage and prefer to wait until details emerge from the coronial process."
Statement from families on the Dreamworld tragedy pic.twitter.com/ISBBwstaaU— Samantha Maiden (@samanthamaiden) October 28, 2016
Goodchild asked that the media and public gave them privacy.
"The next few weeks will be incredibly difficult for our families. In the next few days we have to bury our beautiful children," he said.
"We also have to help two little girls start to come to the fact their mum is never coming home. For this reason we ask from the bottom of our hearts that the country gives us time and space to grieve and farewell our loved ones."
"In particular we ask that the media respect our wishes to hold private farewells."
"We plead we be allowed to grieve in private at this most difficult time."
Read the full statement here.
Dreamworld's CEO Craig Davidson on Friday afternoon confirmed that the park would not re-open until after the funerals of the four victims at the earliest.
He also commented on various reports about the ride operator's expertise.
"The ride operator in control of Thunder River Rapids was an experienced operator with the competency, experience and training to operate that ride," Davidson said.Suggest a correction