Slain officers' families want former top cop at inquest

Families of two officers killed in the Wieambilla shootings that claimed six lives want former Queensland police commissioner Katarina Carroll to testify at an inquest.

But counsel assisting Ruth O'Gorman KC says Deputy Commissioner Cheryl Scanlon is an appropriate senior officer to give evidence about institutional issues at the hearing due to start in July.

An officer who escaped the December 2022 shooting should also not be called to testify for medical reasons, Ms O'Gorman told coroner Terry Ryan at the fourth pre-inquest conference held in the Coroners Court in Brisbane on Friday.

Matthew Arnold and Rachel McCrow (file image)
Matthew Arnold and Rachel McCrow were killed in an ambush. (HANDOUT/QUEENSLAND POLICE)

Constables Matthew Arnold, 26, and Rachel McCrow, 29, were wounded then fatally shot at close range within 10 minutes of entering the rural Wieambilla property, west of Brisbane, for a welfare check on a missing person.

The three suspects in the shooting - Gareth Daniel Train, 47, Nathaniel Charles Train, 46, and Stacey Jane Train, 45 - also lit fires in an attempt to flush out a female officer who escaped being shot after taking cover.

The Trains' neighbour Alan Dare was shot dead when he attended the property to investigate the fire.

Ms O'Gorman said she agreed with a submission that the woman who escaped and another officer whose names were on a draft witness list should not testify at the hearing for medical reasons.

Assistant Commissioner Cheryl Scanlon (file image)
Assistant Commissioner Cheryl Scanlon has oversight into the investigation into the shooting. (Jono Searle/AAP PHOTOS)

The McCrow and Arnold families' legal representative, Francois Malan, said the female officer should be made available, while they appreciated the events were traumatic.

"They believe she should be made available for cross-examination to better understand what took place prior and during those events."

But Ms O'Gorman said a recording of the officer's triple-zero call during the entire incident was available to the coroner.

"The evidence that she might otherwise be expected to be able to give about the matters that she saw or otherwise observed at the property are captured in matters which are stated by her in that recording in real time."

Counsel assisting the coroner Ruth O'Gorman
Ruth O'Gorman says the officer's evidence is captured in a recording. (Darren England/AAP PHOTOS)

The Arnold and McCrow families also called for Ms Carroll to testify as she was police commissioner at the time of the shooting, making her responsible for any actions or inactions of the Queensland Police Service including resourcing, policies and procedures.

Ms O'Gorman and the QPS legal representative Amelia Hughes agreed it was preferable Ms Scanlon gave evidence as she had oversight into the investigation into the shooting in her current role.

In submissions about what should be considered during the inquest, Mr Dare's family called for Mr Ryan to consider whether the police extraction and recovery team's decision to leave the 58-year-old's body at the scene was appropriate.

The adequacy of communication with the Wieambilla community and victim's family members should also be included in the scope of the inquest, his family said in submissions, the court was told.

A photo of Alan Dare (file image)
Alan Dare's family want the coroner to consider a number of issues. (Jason O'BRIEN/AAP PHOTOS)

The inquest is also expected to consider what NSW authorities knew about the suspects before they contacted Queensland police, which led to the officers going to inquire about a missing person report concerning Nathaniel Train.

Family members of those who died watched the conference proceedings via video-link.

An inquest hearing set to run for at least four weeks is due to start on July 29 in the Coroners Court sitting in Brisbane.