Melsa trains in Queen's Park - Melsa secretary Jill Harvey with grandchildren Charlie,14 mths, and Harry,4, Chilcott and their friend Noah Phersson,4.
Melsa trains in Queen's Park - Melsa secretary Jill Harvey with grandchildren Charlie,14 mths, and Harry,4, Chilcott and their friend Noah Phersson,4. Alistair Brightman

REVEALED: Top M'boro family ride survives safety probe

A BELOVED Maryborough family attraction is safe after spending three weeks in limbo.

Queens Park's miniature train rides will continue to run following a three-week suspension.

It came after concerns the Model Engineers and Live Steamers Association was not exempt from new safety regulations.

Fraser Coast Regional Council's chief executive officer Ken Diehm said the council went into bat for MELSA after the roll-out of new state government rules for amusements and rides.

The compliance crackdown was spurred by the 2016 Dreamworld tragedy, which claimed four people's lives.

"The council argued that under the Safe Work Australia guidelines, MELSA fell within the exemptions provided for a miniature train and railway system owned and operated by a model railway society, club or association,” he said.

"The government then sought legal advice and ultimately agreed with us.

"On Wednesday last week, the council received formal advice from the State Government that MELSA was exempt and we met with them that night to give them the good news.

"We are now working with the group to establish a new lease or permit to operate the miniature train ride in Queens Park.

"The council has confirmed that MELSA can continue to operate without change while we finalise the documentation.”

MELSA president Dale Lennan said the club was currently operating under a temporary lease and soon hoped to receive a long-term lease.

"We were suspended until we could justify we were exempt,” he said.

"Thankfully it didn't affect anything because our last run was at the end of August and we are back in time for our run this Sunday and the Connect Kids Carnival this Thursday.

"Now it is all good and all systems go but it was certainly a worry for myself and the secretary Jill Harvey who had to compile all the paper work.

"It feels like a heavy weight has been lifted off our shoulders.”

Ms Harvey said she was relieved as the last few weeks had felt like a full-time job.

"We enjoy the MELSA trains as a hobby but the best thing is that the children get so much pleasure out of it and it is sad that might have been jeopardised, even for a short time,” she said.

"The Connect Kids Carnival were so relieved we didn't have to cancel on their event as we were one of the main attractions.”



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