6th June 2017
Kerang Rail Accident Memorial
Mr WALSH (Murray Plains) – It seems like yesterday but it has been 10 years since 11 people tragically lost their lives and countless more had their lives changed forever by the Kerang rail disaster. Yesterday’s memorial service was filled with sorrow but also with a feeling of solidarity as all those affected dealt with their personal grief and memories that will stay with them forever.
In the midst of what was the dreadful carnage of that day there are heroes – many many heroes – from all walks of life. The police who attended the ambulance officers who attended the State Emergency Service staff who were there and the Country Fire Authority volunteers who were there all bore the brunt of the tragedy in the work they were required to do not only on the day but in the days following. There were the Gannawarra shire staff who set up the emergency services centre in the memorial hall where the service was held yesterday; the Red Cross which helped staff that emergency centre; the V/Line staff both on the day and since that time; and also locals like Trevor and Norma Bennett from Quambatook who actually stopped and helped on that day. I was talking to them yesterday before we went into the service and they still feel traumatised by that event. There were the medical staff from the Kerang hospital and other hospitals that were involved who so skilfully and compassionately went about tending to those who had been injured. I attended the Kerang hospital at the time and they did a fantastic job on the day.
It may have been 10 years but all those involved have suffered enormously as a result of the accident. Finally I thank the ministers fraternity of Kerang for actually putting the memorial service on and the way they went about doing that.