Ardent CEO Deborah Thomas has broken her silence on the Dreamworld tragedy at a press conference following the company's annual general meeting.
"The priority here is with the victims, and our thoughts and prayers are with them," Ardent CEO Deborah Thomas said at a press conference today.
"Our staff are shattered by the events," she remarked.
"I am a mother, I have a family, I take my family to Dreamworld. This could have been my family."
"If I can't help them personally I will ensure we help them in any way possible."
The company also promised counselling and financial aid.
When asked about bonus payments, Thomas said she would not discuss transactions.
"Four people died very recently and we are very shattered," she said.
"Any bonus Ms Thomas may recieve relates to the prior year," Ardent chairman Neil Balnaves said, and would not comment further.
When asked if it was too soon to reopen the park, Balnaves said the decision had been a subject of much deliberation.
"The advice we have had is that it is better that people get back to work and get back with their comrades and talk about this issue ... than sitting at home in isolation."
Craig Davidson, Ardent's CEO of theme parks, added he had "spoken extensively to our team, some of who were involved in the incident. The view is we would all be better if we move forward."
Despite this, Balnaves said the company was not expecting a rush back to the park from the public.
When asked about the safety of the rides, Balnaves remarked the park uses world-class safety experts.
"That ride has annual tear-down and rebuild annual checks ... [the latest] completed just over four weeks ago. That confounds the tragedy even more for us.
"The park does not take safety casually. We use the world's best experts.
"We are fully aware of the law. We have taken every step to ensure we comply with every part of it," he said in regards to the park's safety.
When asked about the park's future, Balnaves said Dreamworld was a key component of the company.
"I don't see it as an asset we would sell. A disaster like this would not require a cut and run philosophy, no."
However, he said he would not rule out any options in the future.
Thomas became emotional and offered "my sincere sympathies for what you must be going through" to the Dorsett family.
"Our hearts and thoughts and prayers are with you and I will be calling you to see what assistance can be made available to you."
Thomas said they did not have the family's number and had tried to reach out through police. She asked the media for the family's number.
Less than two full days from the Dreamworld tragedy that gruesomely killed four of the park's visitors, executives from the theme park's parent company will meet to decide their annual bonuses.
Ardent Leisure's annual general meeting is scheduled to go ahead today as the theme park operator's shares continue to tumble and it faces intense scrutiny over the fatal ride malfunction at Ardent's flagship Gold Coast operation.
The company's board and its elusive CEO Deborah Thomas will gather to face investors in Sydney.
Thomas, a former media executive who gained a public profile as long-time Australian Women's Weekly editor and raised eyebrows when she was appointed to the property company's top job in April last year, is said to be up for a six-figure bonus.
Before Tuesday's disaster, deemed the worst theme park incident in Australian history, Thomas was expected to pocket a bonus A$670,000-A$860,000. Consideration of Thomas' reward is on the agenda for this morning's meeting.
Following a successful modelling career, Thomas was the face of Australia's highest-selling magazine for more than a decade and often appeared as a television commentator and MC at public events, but the Ardent boss is yet to make a public appearance in the wake of Dreamworld's fatal accident. She travelled to the Gold Coast yesterday, but failed to address the disaster.
The glamorous executive will face a media pack demanding answers about the theme park which represents almost a third of Ardent Leisure's earnings.
She is expected to speak about the tragedy after Thursday's AGM.
As police continue their investigation into the accident that killed Canberra mother Kate Goodchild, 32, her brother Luke Dorsett, 35, his partner Roozi Araghi, 38, and Sydney mother Cindy Low, 42, Ardent's share price has been plummeting.
The leisure operator's shares dropped 15 per cent to A$2.00, on Wednesday, a day after losing 7.8 per cent in the hour after the tragedy.
Shares have dropped by a total of 67 cents since the accident, wiping more than A$310 million from the company's market capitalisation, to almost A$940 million.
Questions remain over Dreamworld's safety operations and what caused the usually family-friendly Thunder River Rapids ride to turn into a death trap.
The park will reopen on Friday with a memorial day, with proceeds from the day to be donated to the Australian Red Cross. Only small rides, animal attractions, and the water park will be in operation.
Forager Funds senior equities analyst Daniel Mueller said the indefinite closure period made it difficult to estimate a financial impact on Ardent.
Fellow theme park operator Village Roadshow, which runs neighbouring Gold Coast attractions Sea World, Warner Bros. Movie World and Wet'n'Wild, has also suffered with its share price dropping 23 cents, or 4.4 per cent, to A$5.02.
- With AAP