Dreamworld's responsibility to its victims is the reason it can't recover.

People smile and laugh as they wander the theme park. Maybe clutching fairy floss. Perhaps holding their stomach after a particularly turbulent roller coaster ride.

But there, in the middle of it all, is a darkness. People lower their voices as they walk past. They might peep over the rust-coloured fence, before quickly turning away. Perhaps they whisper to the person next to them. They might just think to themselves:

That was where…

Yesterday – October 25 – marked one year since the Dreamworld tragedy. The accident that claimed four lives. The lives of two mothers and two lovers.

Kate Goodchild, mother of two, and her brother Luke Dorsett were killed. So was Luke’s partner, Roozi Araghi, as well as Sydney mother Cindy Low.

The raft they were riding in, as part of the Thunder River Rapids ride at Dreamworld on the Gold Coast, flipped due to a malfunction and a scene of horror and heartbreak ensued.

Dreamworld was closed for several weeks – it wouldn’t re-open till December 10, and even then only partially.

Flowers were laid out the front of its gates. Three families were suddenly grieving, in shock. Many more were traumatised by what they’d witnessed. And Ardent Leisure, Dreamworld’s parent company, faced some tough questions at their Annual General Meeting held just days after the tragedy on October 27.

Now, one year on, Dreamworld has hosted a private ceremony to mark the anniversary of the event the park is so desperately trying to put behind it… But cannot.

The then Ardent Leisure CEO Deborah Thomas weeps after a private memorial was held at Dreamworld on October 28, 2016 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo via Getty Images)

Dozens of staff, Red Cross volunteers and the chairman of Ardent Leisure attended the anniversary service, which was held before the park opened for the day on Wednesday.

"It was very well organised and I think it was a good gesture in terms of reflection of what happened," Australian Red Cross emergency services state manager Collin Sivalingum told AAP.

"A day like this one will bring about a lot of emotions, a lot of feelings and a lot of people being upset. One year later we still see these emotions and people feel very connected to this event."

But it's not just one day, the anniversary, that the accident's shadow is felt.


Every day, as people walk through those gates seeking fairy floss and stomach-churning roller-coaster rides, they must walk past the emptied, abandoned Thunder River Rapids ride.

It's still there. Right in the middle of the park.

It's no longer on the map but it can be seen from the Giant Drop. From the tips of rollercoasters. Through gaps in a rusty-coloured fence as people walk around it.

Where the walkways once lead to it, there are now swinging ropes across the openings saying: "you can't go this way".

The Thunder River Rapids ride remains closed at Dreamworld on October 25, 2017 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo via Getty Images)

The ride has been kept there for good reason.

It was only in late September that a Workplace Health and Safety investigation into the accident was completed.

It wasn't until October 13 that police concluded their report into the incident and delivered a two-volume brief to the coroner.

The coronial inquest will take place over the next few months and then we will find out if Dreamworld is to face charges.

All of these processes have required the ride to remain in place. Left as it was on the day of the tragedy.

The MMOL team discuss the awful hatred Deb Thomas has fielded in the wake of the Dreamworld tragedy.

Since the incident, Ardent Leisure has reported a $62.6 million loss for the financial year and Dreamworld crowds have dropped by 30 per cent, AAP reports.

This is no surprise. There is a loss of trust that follows events like these. The publicity, the horror, the constant thought - 'it could have been me' - keeps people away.

But the most persistent reason Dreamworld can't recover following the tragedy that was October 25, 2016 comes back to the responsibility it has to the families of the victims.

The responsibility it has to comply with Workplace Health and Safety, the police, and the coroner.

Because while it - the Thunder River Rapids ride - still stands, it serves as a constant, macabre reminder of what took place. And Dreamworld - no matter how touching their ceremonies, no matter how heartfelt their answers - cannot possibly hope to move forward.