Dreamworld’s safety chairman quits company

DREAMWORLD operator Ardent Leisure has announced the departure of long-time director Roger Davis, who was also chair of the company's safety committee.

Mr Davis, a former Australian Wallabies back rower who is also chairman of the Bank of Queensland, had served on the company's board for a decade.

In the wake of the 2016 tragedy, which claimed the lives of Luke Dorsett, his sister Kate Goodchild, Roozbeh Araghi and Cindy Low, Mr Davis was forced to defend his workload as he also sat on boards including Argo Investments, Aristocrat Leisure, AIG Australia and rugby's NSW Waratahs.

In an announcement to the ASX this morning, Ardent said Mr Davis has resigned from the Ardent boards, effective August 17.

"Mr Davis is stepping down from his position to focus on existing board commitments," the company said.

Bank of Queensland chairman Roger Davis. Pic: Peter Wallis
Bank of Queensland chairman Roger Davis. Pic: Peter Wallis

As well as chairman of the Safety, Sustainability and Environment Committee, Mr Davis was a member of the company's audit and risk committee.

Ardent Chairman Dr Gary Weiss said "On behalf of my fellow Directors, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Roger for his valued contribution to the business which has spanned many years. We wish Roger all the very best for his future endeavours."

Mr Davis said "It has been an honour to serve on the board of Ardent. I wish the board and management all the very best."

Ardent Leisure chairman Gary Weiss.
Ardent Leisure chairman Gary Weiss.


Mr Davis's departure follows the resignation of Dreamworld CEO Craig Davidson in July, as a coronial inquest uncovered increasingly negative evidence about the theme park's safety.

The inquest is scheduled to continue in October.

The announcement also followed a financial update on Monday, when Ardent cut $75 million from the value of Dreamworld and flagged a non-cash impairment charge of $38 million related to five leisure centres in the US, based on preliminary, unaudited results for the year ended June 26.

The company's theme parks division is forecast to book a loss of between $91 million to $95 million for the year ended June 26, compared with a loss of $98 million a year earlier, hurt by lower revenue and poor weather.

Its Main Event division - which has 41 bowling and games centres across the US - is forecast to book a drop in annual underlying earnings to $12 million to $15 million, down from $46 million a year earlier, due to the $38 million impairment charge as well as pre-opening and restructuring costs totalling $12 million.