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Show ride cleared days after fatal fall

An Easter show ride was allowed to reopen two days after a six-year-old boy fell to his death at a Victorian carnival.

Eugene Mahauariki's life support was switched off four days after he fell from the Cha Cha ride at the 2017 Rye Easter Carnival.

Ride operator Wittingslow Carnivals is charged with breaching workplace safety laws by failing to ensure people are not exposed to risk.

But Victoria's workplace safety watchdog allowed the Cha Cha to reopen two days after the April 17 accident, Melbourne Magistrates Court was told on Wednesday.

The ride can still be operated, but is not currently in use.

Eugene was the son of a Wittingslow employee and seated on the ride with another six-year-old when he slipped out from underneath the bar designed to hold patrons in place, court documents show.

He was tall enough to ride without a supervising adult.

The ride had previously been certified by an engineer, while a safety inspection the day after the boy fell did not identify any concerns, the court was told.

Seatbelts were fitted after the accident but WorkSafe's barrister, Andrew Palmer QC, says they should have been in place at the time.

"The design of the restraints was flawed because they permitted, in our case, a rider, Mr Mahauariki, to slip out and be ejected from the ride," he said.

Seven months after Eugene died, WorkSafe issued an improvement notice for the ride and further modifications were made.

But WorkSafe and Wittingslow disagreed about who was ultimately responsible for managing the safety of the Cha Cha at the time of the accident.

"The premise of your question is WorkSafe are the experts," Mr Palmer told magistrate Ross Maxted at one point.

"The experts in the operation of carnivals are the carnival operators," the QC argued, adding WorkSafe merely audited those measures.

Wittingslow's barrister Stephen Russell said there was no evidence the company knew the Cha Cha's safety measures were inadequate.

"There is no evidence of our company knowing that there were other ways of reducing or eliminating hazard or risk," he said.

The committal hearing to determine whether the ride operator stands trial is expected to continue on Thursday.

© AAP 2020