The embattled chief executive of Dreamworld parent company Ardent Leisure, Deborah Thomas, will get a $730,000 payout when she steps down at the end of the month.

She will also be paid a "consultancy" fee of $3000 per day for each day "reasonably expended" in relation to the coronial inquest into last year's Thunder River Rapids ride tragedy, in which four people died at the Gold Coast theme park.

The company revealed the sudden departure of Thomas in a stock market announcement late Friday. The termination benefit of $731,291 equates to 12 months average base remuneration for the former magazine editor.

In April, the company announced Thomas would be taking on the new role of chief customer office and chief operating officer. Replacement CEO Simon Kelly was slated to take over from Thomas at the end of the month.


Instead, she will leave the company. Thomas has already stepped down from fulltime duties, and her employment will cease from 1 July. Under the transitional consultancy arrangement, Thomas will provide "ongoing support" to Kelly, senior management and the Ardent board.

"On behalf of the Ardent board, we want to express our sincere gratitude for Deborah's contribution as CEO and managing director, which coincided with an exceptionally busy and challenging period in the group's history," chairman George Venardos said in a statement.

"It is a testament to Deborah's professionalism and character that she has agreed to remain part of the team and provide valuable support and continuity to Ardent and the various official bodies preparing for the coronial inquiry into the Dreamworld tragedy.

"The coronial inquiry is of great importance and priority to Ardent and all of the families, staff, and members of the community impacted by that tragedy, and Deborah will help ensure Ardent gives that process the full attention, focus and resources it rightly deserves."

Queensland Emergency service personnel are seen at the scene of the accident. Photo/AAP
Queensland Emergency service personnel are seen at the scene of the accident. Photo/AAP

Despite cutting ticket prices and offering other incentives, Dreamworld has failed to bring back crowds following the tragedy, which took the lives of Cindy Low, Kate Goodchild, Luke Dorsett and Roozi Araghi.

Last week, Ardent said visitor numbers and revenue at its theme parks picked up in May but were still down by more than one third on the same time last year.

The company said while they were stronger than in March and April, there were 35.8 per cent fewer visitors and 35.4 per cent less revenue than in May 2016.

Ardent is warning investors that its theme parks will record a full-year loss of between $2 million and $4 million. Last month, the company announced it was "reviewing" its options to sell off or develop surplus real estate at the 60-hectare Dreamworld precinct.