A Coroner has moved to review the evidence in Sydney’s deadly 1979 Luna Park Ghost Train fire after allegations the blaze had been intentionally lit came to light.
New South Wales Coroner Teresa O’Sullivan has made a formal request to NSW Police to review all evidence about the cause and origin of the fire, along with the seven deaths it caused.
Once the information has been reviewed she will make a determination on whether a fresh inquest should be held.
“The State Coroner has received an application from a person with sufficient standing under s.83 of the Coroners Act to seek a fresh inquest into the Luna Park Ghost Train fire of 1979,” she said in a statement.
The application was received on April 8 – the same day NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said she was giving the matter serious consideration.
“We’ve heard the plight of families and I can confirm that relevant parts of the NSW government are considering that,” Ms Berejiklian said on Thursday.
“I think it’s always really difficult to consider what deserves reopening and what doesn’t and you always empathise with the families.
“I do want to confirm that we are giving it good consideration.”
Ms Berejiklian has the power to call a Special Commission of inquiry immediately should she wish.
Seven people, including six children were killed in the Sydney theme park blaze, which was originally blamed on electrical faults.
The probe has magnified calls from the victim’s families, witnesses and dozens of former police to have the case revisited by the Coroner.
The night of the fire was June 9, 1979.
There were believed to be more than 30 people on board the ghost train when it burst into flames.
The ride was completely engulfed and destroyed.
John Godson and his two children, Damien and Craig, and four Waverley College students; Jonathan Billings, Richard Carroll, Michael Johnson, and Seamus Rahilly were all killed.
The blaze was written off as an electrical fault by police, but new evidence indicates arson was a factor.
New evidence uncovered by the ABC has indicates Saffron ordered bikies to light the ghost fire train, which was subsequently covered up by corrupt police.
A mother’s plight after unthinkable tragedy
Jenny Godson helplessly watched on as her two children and husband burned alive in the ghost train fire.
She – along with family members of the other victims – have signed a petition demanding a review of the case.
“I would like a Royal Commission. Because it’s so deep, it involves all the people that we put the utmost trust in in our life,” Ms Godson said.
“Please set the truth free.
“This is what a Royal Commission can do.
“After struggling with the truth in my heart for so long, I just want it all brought out in the open.
“My husband John and my two sons Damien and Craig are deserved of justice, as we all are.”
It’s not just the victims’ families calling for justice.
A former Chief Magistrate, NSW Cabinet Secretary and Chief Executive of the High Court want the case reviewed.
A former police prosecutor at the original inquest, seven police officers who worked on the fire, two investigators from the National Crime Authority, two firefighters, and thirteen witnesses are also demanding action.
The process is currently at a standstill.
The Coroner has told families and witnesses their applications are invalid and need to go to the police.
The police – while open to looking at the new evidence – haven’t contacted any of the witnesses or families yet either.