Luna Park Sydney's expansion

316 posts in this topic

On 12/04/2019 at 7:32 PM, Nimble said:

Even if LPS could find space and soundproof screams of riders on a large-scale rollercoaster, the residents will think of something else to complain about, like them losing part of their precious view of the bridge and opera house.


Yeah I dont think that would be the major cause of concern , to be honest. The steel Big Dipper only ever had noise complaints leveled against it , not obstruction issues.

A new coaster would have to be extremely high to attract that sort of complaint and I think the management of LPS are smart enough to not do that.  The previous Big Dipper was 131 feet high and I could be wrong, but I dont think we will see another coaster be installed at this height or exceed it.

Also LPS now has a working height limit envelope to work to - if attractions do not exceed this height limit then they do not attract a complying DA process to go through. Theoretically , they still could build a ride with the height of the previous Big Dipper but i think that the will of LPS to do so is not overly strong.

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Here is a great article on Tony Maloney ,from late last year. He is currently serving as the  chief ride mechanic and  Maloney's Corner was eponymously named after him.

Luna Park mechanic who knows every nut and bolt still on the job

JANET FIFE-YEOMANS, The Daily Telegraph
November 17, 2018 12:00am

Living in Sydney has been a merry-go-round for Tony Maloney.

The 71-year-old started working at Luna Park as a wide-eyed 13-year-old and he is still there.

He literally knows every nut and bolt of the heritage-listed fun park, having numbered, dismantled, removed, refurbished and then rebuilt every ride twice, in 1993 and 2000.

After keeping the park safe for generations, the master mechanic tried to retire a few years ago but couldn’t leave the magic behind.

92e2e8c2a1618d4823b0f116c9453bbe?width=1024 Tony Maloney checks up on a merry-go-round. Picture: Justin Lloyd


After a few weeks away from the fun park that has been his life, he was on the phone to the park’s managing director Peter Hearne. “I rang Peter, who said ‘why don’t you come back two or three days a week’,” Mr Maloney said.

He has been on every ride in the park countless times but Mr Maloney remains a rollercoaster tragic and looks back with nostalgia on the days of Luna Park’s wooden rollercoaster, its original Big Dipper.

“We used to have to walk the whole ride every hour because the rails would move,” he said yesterday.

42c7857757448f92c7d9ef45912bf02d?width=1024 Tony Maloney is the longest-serving employee at the park. Picture: Justin Lloyd

There was a narrow boardwalk the mechanics used while the trains were going — and for the record there were three carriages carrying up to 72 people at a time.

Mr Maloney has since ridden some of the world’s biggest rollercoasters but nothing can scare him.

“I love coasters, it’s the adrenaline rush,” he said.

The 83-year-old park has had its own rollercoaster of a history.

It closed after the fatal Ghost Train fire in 1979, opening again in 1982 only to close again and reopen in 2004.

Mr Maloney wasn’t at work the night that a father, his two sons and six school students died when fire destroyed the wooden Ghost Train building, but he still felt the impact of the tragedy.

6f98b02a2bd2306f9dcefb00878f5375?width=1024 Firemen battle the blaze at the Ghost Train ride on a tragic night in 1979. 7553032799514faadb53aa71872ff56a?width=1024 Luna Park’s Ghost Train building as it appeared in the 1940s.

Inquests have since failed to determine a cause, ruling out an electrical fault and reports of arson and finding that, on that night, there was no attendant patrolling inside the building “in case of fire” as had been the practice.

Mr Maloney grew up in Milsons Point, not far from Luna Park, and his grandfather drove the steam trains that dropped off passengers to catch ferries before the bridge was built.

He remembers when huge queues waited to get into the park and the first 500 kids into the park got a bag of lollies and free tickets to four rides.

“We used to go swimming in the morning and then to the park to spend Saturday afternoon and it was fantastic,” he said.

71d508837ca3ec8cfe24aadcd396bbde?width=1024 The dance hall and bandstand from the 1940s at Sydney’s famous attraction. 57b1a35da5be91e3a16b7ffcb4f6eed1?width=1024 Sliding thrills at Luna Park in the 1950s. 9dc25d541442e3ec65622beea7209894?width=1024 Luna Park Udrive and Coney Island kept them queueing in the 1960s.

He was almost a “Luna Park baby”, following his parents Joan and Alan Maloney working on sideshows such as Hoopla and the Laughing Clowns from the age of 13. He started full-time as a fitter in 1961.

Mr Maloney met his wife, Wendy, when she worked as secretary to Ted Hopkins, the showman who transported the original Luna Park rides from a failed amusement park in Glenelg in South Australia to the former bridge work yards.

The couple’s three children worked at the park and there is even one site, Maloney’s Corner, named after Tony.

b1ccbd167eb2ac15b7fe6c4c65168e83?width=316 The original face was painted by artist Rupert Brown around 1935. e6dee8083eca0bba84521280b64c48a0?width=316 The park’s fifth face, designed by artist Arthur Barton, circa 1950.
f4adb7c5229d098377e631120b68d63e?width=1024 The face of Luna Park catches a ride during a 2001 re-fit. 7b4bded06292a724cd07b36872d5bcd0?width=1024 Children ride the Wild Mouse after the 2004 re-opening. NSW / Amusement Centre
Lefties make about as much sense as a goose’s Mr Maloney knows all the tricks and secrets that make the rides a thrill but his “baby” is the Wild Mouse rollercoaster, which arrived the year before he did.

For years he took it to pieces and rebuilt it at the Easter Show, when the show was held at Moore Park to the background of singing by three brothers better known as the Bee Gees.

20c38131265fae00d89bd6922a7b6192?width=1024 Mr Maloney has overseen all types of dismantling, such as this one in 2003. Picture: Scott Hornby
b9a8c4603175e1bc62e035460ed7bdee?width=316 Jordan Stenmark and Dancing With The Stars partner Jessica Prince went on Luna Park rides for Jordan to overcome dizziness. bbb47c08348b8260d70049d980c2dfae?width=316 Katy Perry tries a Luna Park dodgem.
d407a8ec232699a856ae0c8fd97637fe?width=1024 Night-time magic at the timeless fun park. a927f0388d6bfcd3b066c4bfb8b203dc?width=1024 Mr Maloney loves hearing customers come back and reminisce. Picture: Justin Lloyd

He even took the Wild Mouse up to Brisbane and on a train over the Nullarbor to Perth.

Mr Maloney is unashamed about his love of the whimsical amusement park and even its old daggy rides such as the River Caves and Noah’s Ark.

“I love seeing people coming back. They go on the slippery dips and swear the slides were much higher and longer when they were kids,” he said.

Now required to get development approval for new rides, the park is lining up some Christmas specials including the Power Surge and the Wave Swinger, which have a perfect spot in Maloney’s Corner."


What a great article on such a living treasure as Tony. His memories and experiences for the park are priceless and I am sure he could tell some great stories!!

Characters like these are now found few and far between- its great to see LPS still utilise his experience and expertise in operations. What a great poster child for the older generation still working and contributing significantly to society.



Here is another very interesting article that shows the worth of the amusement park to the local economy. Dating from late last year, it was published in the height of the DA application standoff with the state government that has since been resolved in the parks favour.

Luna Park worth $683m to economy over five years

NEW data has revealed the massive worth of Luna Park to Sydney’s economy as the iconic harbourside attraction faces as uncertain future.

Independent research estimates Luna Park will contribute $120.6 million to the Harbour City’s economy this year and $683.4 million over the next five years.

Sydney Business Chamber executive director Patricia Forsythe said the embattled park was more than just a place for fun rides and fairy floss.

66b217f53ad89ce4424ae51303197896?width=650 Sydney Business Chamber’s executive director Patricia Forsythe.

“It also employs about 1000 people a year in a wide range of positions including in the amusement park, catering staff functions and events roles,” Ms Forsythe said.

“It actually plays a big role around business events. From a business point of view, we’d be lost without the sort of space it has to host the large corporate events for thousands of delegates.”

The latest data on the park’s economic impact follows a recent Land and Environment Court ruling which threatens the long-term viability of the attraction.

Luna Park, a harbourside institution since 1935 which attracts a million thrillseekers each year, will now have to seek lengthy planning approvals for every new and moved ride and attraction as local residents gain a greater say in the process.

e5e25dfb67c4dadaa971eecbc6d11213?width=650 Luna Park is a big money spinner for Sydney’s economy.

Ms Forsythe this week reinforced the concerns of the park’s operators where it could get caught up in red tape.

“Luna Park plays a really important role in the overall Sydney visitor economy,” he said. “It has been there, dare I say it, longer than almost any local resident. Too many people take it for granted.

“It already conforms to standards that have been developed with the neighbourhood in mind (since it reopened in 2004). This was a way to respond to residents’ concerns.

“The park is too important, and the NSW government has got to resolve this issue as soon as possible.”

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16 hours ago, Jobe said:


I'll say it once and say it again - the red tape thing is utter garbage. If they weren't renting trashy rides as a stop-gap solution to avoiding spending much need capex they wouldn't have this problem in the first place.

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Tony is a great man. A hard taskmaster but he taught me a lot. He has told amazing stories over the years I was privileged to work with him. He was operating the carousel in Darling Harbour for a while (before this article was originally published) but it is great to know he returned to LPS.

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Does not surprise me. Qld people need to remember the market down here is different. We are still waiting for new attractions at LPS. It is interesting however about the free parking etc. Those things would be nice on the Gold pass also.

The numbers will tell the story of how well such passes do indeed sell.

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I’d love to see passes like that introduced at Dreamworld and Movie World e.t.c. It would make more sense at Movie World as Dreamworld would most likely make the savings from buying 5 year passes redundant during an adults at kids prices sale... However, it could still work if the discounts were of good value and other perks were introduced based on the length of your pass. I can’t really see this working at Luna Park though, there isn’t enough on offer but I guess locals have no alternative.

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Visited the park today with my son. Took some pictures. The park was reasonably busy with waits for the Ferris wheel being around 15 minutes. Same went for the wild mouse. The ice skating is a big hit with the guest for the winter festivities. No other rides were bought into the park to boost the line up like they normally do.

Hungry Horse (main food outlet) has also had some carousel horses added into it finally. The ice skating is free for pass holders & those who purchase an unlimited rides pass (for that day only).













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40 years ago the tragic Luna Park Ghost Train fire still has a haunting effect on the victims families that were involved. The exact cause of the fire is still not known.


Ghost Train tragedy: Luna Park fire remains a mystery

David Meddows, The Daily Telegraph
July 11, 2019 2:02pm
  • It is the unsolved mystery that has haunted Sydney for 40 years — seven lives wiped out in minutes on what should have been a night full of fun.

A father and his two sons, together with four school mates, perished after a fire broke out inside the popular Ghost Train ride at Sydney’s Luna Park on the night of June 9, 1979.

Terrified riders ran from the attraction as the blaze ripped through it just before 11pm. Survivors recalled being confronted by walls of fire as the carriages made their way out of the tunnels.

An aerial view of the damage following the Ghost Train fire. Picture: Bromley. An aerial view of the damage following the Ghost Train fire. Picture: Bromley.

The first fire fighters who arrived at the scene struggled to access water, eventually having to pump it directly from Sydney Harbour.

When the inferno was eventually extinguished, rescuers made a devastating discovery. Huddled together in one section of the tunnel was John Godson with his sons Damien and Craig.

In another, four friends from Waverley College — Jonathan Billings, Richard Charles Carroll, Michael David Johnson and Seamus Rahilly — were also found dead. A fifth friend who was in the carriage behind the boys survived.

Watching on as firefighters battled the blaze was Jenny Godson who was met with the horrific scene after leaving her husband and sons to go and buy an ice cream.



‘Bizarre’ craving for ice-cream saved the life of a mother who lost entire family

Mystery of the satanic figure snapped with Luna Park fire victim hours before death

On holiday from the country NSW town of Warren, the family was nearing the end of their night and had four more tickets left to use. The two youngsters picked the Ghost Train, which had been a favourite at the park for four decades.

But just as the family was about to head to the ride, Mrs Godson developed an urge for a sweet treat and decided to let the others go ahead.

“I was just standing at the door of Coney Island and all of a sudden I got this thought that I wanted an ice cream — it was just the most bizarre thing,” she told The Daily Telegraph in 2015.

Damien and Craig Godson were killed as they huddled with their dad in one of the ride’s tunnels. Damien and Craig Godson were killed as they huddled with their dad in one of the ride’s tunnels.

“I asked the boys if they wanted an ice cream and they said no so off they went with their father and that was that — I didn’t meet them there, they were gone.”

Instead what she was confronted with was a giant pile of smouldering wood, and the unimaginable realisation she had lost her entire family.

“I wanted to stay there and I remember someone standing beside me and until a few years ago I didn’t realise who that was but it ended up being Jason (Holmon), the fifth boy who was with the other boys (who died),” she said.

In the days after the tragedy tales of survival began to emerge.

Frank Juhassi, who was on the Ghost Train with his wife, spoke with a Daily Telegraph reporter about his lucky escape from the doomed ride.

“The car nosed through the doors and we could see four metre flames all around us,” he said. “We were seconds away from death.”

Jenny and John Godson. Jenny and John Godson.

Investigators initially believed an electrical fault was responsible for starting the fire, but several inquiries failed to back that up and over the years there were persistent rumours that it was deliberately lit.

In 2007 the niece of one of Sydney’s most notorious crime figures, nightclub owner and developer Abe Saffron, told a Sydney newspaper that her uncle was the one responsible for starting the fire.

Saffron had reportedly been interested in buying the park and was a suspect in at least seven other fires about the same time.

Mrs Godson, who now goes by the name Poidevin, thought this was a strong theory, but conceded she wasn’t sure anymore what had happened.

She said she had been contacted by a Queensland man in the years before talking to The Daily Telegraph in 2015 who also had a theory of what happened that night.

“He’s rung me over the years a couple of times and he’s suffered quite a lot of stress over it but he believes there was someone letting off fire crackers,” she said.

“But I truly don’t know. I don’t know what to believe anymore.”

How The Daily Telegraph covered the fire. Picture: News Corp Archives How The Daily Telegraph covered the fire. Picture: News Corp Archives

A coronial inquiry held into the seven Luna Park deaths failed to determine a cause for the fire but did come down hard on the amusement park’s management for not having an appropriate fire suppression plan in place.

A decade later a second investigation was opened but no new evidence was brought forward and still no cause was determined. That investigation did criticise both the police investigation following the fire and the coronial inquiry.

Mrs Godson, who gave birth to a daughter several years after the tragedy, took several years to process her grief, moving from her central west home and rebuilding her life.

She has since become a firm believer in fate.

“I just feel it was all meant to be,” she said in 2015.

“For me to walk out of Coney Island and want an ice cream — I hardly ever ate ice cream — but I had this strange desire to have it and when I looked back on that it was totally bizarre.” 

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It is indeed a mystery. A sad one nevertheless. Having worked at the park it was one of those topics you would be quizzed about on a regular basis when the park reopened in 2004. It is just sad that an answer can't be given. Only theories.

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