ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr and his Opposition counterpart Alistair Coe have offered their condolences following yesterday’s tragedy at Dreamworld on the Gold Coast.
Mr Barr described the incident as a tragic event.
“Canberra is in many respects a small place, and I’m sure there are many people today in our community that have been impacted by this terrible news,” Mr Barr said.
“It is important during this time that we respect the privacy of the family and friends who are attempting to process this unimaginable loss.
“The ACT Government has reached out to the family involved to offer any assistance they require. I offer my personal condolences to the family on behalf of all Canberrans.”
He noted that support services were available to anyone affected by the tragedy either directly or indirectly, and recommended calling Lifeline.
The telephone counselling service has set up a special number for callers seeking support in relation to the accident at Dreamworld. The number is 1800 543 354.
Mr Coe expressed deep sadness at learning of the tragedy.
“My thoughts and prayers, along with the entire Canberra Liberals team, are with the families and friends of the victims, as well as the witnesses and staff of Dreamworld,” he said.
“We sincerely hope that everyone is provided the help they need during this difficult time.”
Federal Labor Member for Fenner Andrew Leigh has also issued a statement.
“Much of Canberra’s northside is devastated by the news that three of our own – Luke Dorsett, Kate Goodchild and Roozbeh Araghi – were killed in yesterday’s shocking accident at Dreamworld,” Dr Leigh said.
“The intensity and breadth of the emotion so many of us are feeling is a small measure of how these three wonderful young people improved the lives of their fellow Canberrans.
“Our thoughts and sympathy are with their families and friends as they try and find a way to cope with this tragedy.”
The ACT leaders’ remarks follow comments from Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull last night in which he stated he was very saddened to learn of the accident.
“Theme parks are a place for family fun and happiness, not tragedy,” Mr Turnbull said.
“This is a very, very, sad, tragic event. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those who lost their lives.
“This is a very sad day, and we trust there will be a thorough investigation into the causes of this accident over the days to follow.”
Federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten tweeted, “Heartbreaking news from Dreamworld. Sending our love to the families of those who lost their lives in this devastating tragedy.”
Pictured in file photographs are Andrew Barr, top, and Alistair Coe, above. Photos: Charlotte Harper