A Queensland tourism operator has been fined $40,000 after a woman suffered serious injuries following a zip line tour that went wrong more than two years ago.
Prior to the July 2016 incident, the tour guides together with the woman, her partner and a family of four had successfully completed three zip lines.
The group commenced the fourth and final flying fox and when the woman was nearing the end, the reduction line snapped, causing the brakes to fail.
Still travelling at speed, she collided first with a guide and then with a tree and rebounded approximately five metres. The woman spent four days in hospital with multiple pelvic fractures requiring surgery.
The Magistrates Court found there was not an adequate inspection regime to identify hazards such as unacceptable wear in the reduction line. Secondly, the defendant ignored the manufacturer’s instructions regarding the use of the zip line ropes.
It was shown that the decision to install the new braking system was based on safety considerations. The system was sold to the operator as a more efficient unit for the pitch of the line. The line had been in operation for four months prior to the incident.
The magistrate considered the defendant’s cooperation with the investigation, the remorse shown, the steps taken to assist the woman and the early guilty plea.
He also acknowledged the injuries, in this case, were significant and fined the defendant $40,000. No conviction was recorded.