Island management accepts buggy crash findings

Update 6pm

CEO of Hamilton Island Glenn Bourke has agreed with the police findings into the cause of a golf buggy crash in March, 2016, that left a woman and her baby in a critical state and five others injured.

The Queensland Police investigation concluded today with the Forensic Crash Unit saying brake system failure was to blame.

"I'm sure the findings are accurate," Mr Bourke said.

"We worked closely with police as we always do."

Mr Bourke said Hamilton Island's own investigation into the cause of the accident had come to the same conclusions as police.

The March 10 incident involved eight passengers including a toddler and two infants and resulted in a man and woman being airlifted to Mackay Base Hospital. A baby girl suffered serious head injuries and was airlifted to Townsville Base Hospital with her mother, who suffered minor injuries.

At the time police issued infringements to the 22-year-old driver for carrying more passengers than permitted and the owner of the buggy for permitting the use of a vehicle with unsafe equipment.

Mr Bourke stressed that the buggy was not run by Hamilton Island Enterprises and was actually run by an independent contractor.

He said they would wait until all legal processes were finalised before considering what action to take against the business responsible for the buggy.

"We have to make a determination (but) we will wait for police to take action," he said.

"This is the first step in determining what their findings are.

"We need to see what the course of the legal action is and what findings are and then once the courts have determined that then we'll act accordingly."

As far as enforcing passenger limits for buggies, Mr Bourke said it was a matter for police.

"We don't govern the roads (but) we do tend to assist people in making smart decisions," he said.

"Police are the governing body for the road (and) they have a presence on the island."

Mr Bourke said anyone operating on Hamilton Island roads also had to be registered with the island.

"If someone arrives and they want to drive they need to be approved by us," he said.

He also said the island's buggies went through regular maintenance in accordance with their registration body.

Since the crash on March 10, Hamilton Island has implemented new safety restrictions for buggies including the addition of seatbelts and roll bars.

Mr Bourke said they had also stopped the use of tow trailers on buggies and had removed the six seater versions, which he described as "problematic".

They are also in the process of phasing out the use of petrol run buggies and switching to electric.


POLICE have finalised their investigation into a serious traffic incident involving a golf buggy on Hamilton Island on March 10.

Forensic Crash Unit investigators allege the primary cause of the crash was braking system failure of the buggy on a steep descent on the road.

Police acknowledge the driver took action to avoid the crash during the steep descent with a failed braking system.

It will be further alleged the vehicle was carrying more passengers than permitted and the 22-year-old female driver has been issued an infringement notice for exceeding the carrying capacity of the vehicle.

The owner of the buggy has been issued with an infringement notice for permitting the use of a vehicle with unsafe equipment.

The single vehicle crash left nine people injured.

Topics:  buggy crash hamilton island mackay whitsundays

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Big problem with new pension pay rise

Retirees receive a slight pension boost from this month.

Pensioners will receive an extra $13.20 a fortnight from this month

Donations flood into storm ravaged regions

Amanda Lindh at Murwillumbah Community Centre. Thanks to News Corp, Givit and the Red Cross, the centre will soon be re-opening its food pantry. The pantry was destroyed by flooding in the wake of Cyclone Debbie.

12 months later, Cyclone Debbie's impact still felt

Debbie the second most costly cyclone in Australia's history

The Insurance Council of Australia says the cost of Debbie's damage is second only to Cyclone Tracy which devastated Darwin in December, 1974.

$1.71 billion to fix damage from Townsville to Lismore

Local Partners