FAMILIES of the four people killed in the Dreamworld ride disaster have waited a long time for answers but could be closer to learning what happened as an inquest into the deaths begins.

The anticipated coronial probe will get underway this week, although it's not expected to hear any evidence until later in the year.

It will examine the circumstances around the October 2016 deaths of Kate Goodchild, her brother Luke Dorsett and his partner Roozi Araghi and Cindy Low, who were killed when a raft they were in on the popular Thunder River Rapids ride malfunctioned and flipped.

Ms Goodchild's daughter Ebony, 12, and Ms Low's 10-year-old son survived. The families have waited more than a year for answers and on Tuesday the inquest will take its first steps with a procedural hearing, during which dates for evidence to be heard will likely be set.

For about three decades before the fatal incident, the Thunder River Rapids ride had been a drawcard at the Gold Coast park.

Police examine Dreamworld ride after the tragedy.
Police examine Dreamworld ride after the tragedy.

Dreamworld closed for 45 days after the tragedy and visitor numbers tanked an estimated 30 per cent, causing owners Ardent Leisure to report a $62.6 million loss for the financial year.

Following the deaths, police investigated and have prepared a large brief of evidence for the coroner to consider.

They have already recommended no criminal charges be laid against Dreamworld staff over the fatal incident, but the coroner could still suggest prosecutions after hearing evidence.

Deborah Thomas, the former CEO of the Ardent Leisure Group which operates the Australian theme park Dreamworld, will be paid $3000 a day to attend the inquest.
Deborah Thomas, the former CEO of the Ardent Leisure Group which operates the Australian theme park Dreamworld, will be paid $3000 a day to attend the inquest.

The incident also caused the Queensland government to pass industrial manslaughter laws with maximum 20 years imprisonment for individuals or a $10 million fine for corporate offenders.

The new legislation won't apply to anyone involved in the Dreamworld tragedy as it can't be enforced retrospectively.

The former Ardent boss Deborah Thomas will be paid $3000 a day to attend the inquest.

When Ms Thomas left Ardent last year it was reported she received a $730,000 payout and would also receive the daily amount for attending the inquest.


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