Raising the BARR – Week ending 23/06/2023

Raising the Barr

Tragedy on our Doorstep

On Monday 12th June, we woke to discover that overnight a bus had crashed at Greta and killed 10 people, with a further 25 being sent to hospital for treatment to their injuries, 2 in critical condition.

While many of us were asleep and unaware of this tragic event, our Emergency Service workers were busy doing what they always do – saving lives and keeping our community safe.

Police, Fire and Rescue, Ambulance, Council staff, Emergency Call Centre workers, Doctors, Nurses and Hospital staff were all hands-on-deck for the chaotic hours that followed. All resources from across our region were tasked with responding to this catastrophic moment.

There was an instant sense of despair. Sadness and grief seemed to extend its hand to every household in our Valley, our State and our Country.

Our brains, wired as they are, were trying to gain an understanding of the “what” and “how”. Details were released slowly, and gradually a clearer picture started to present itself.

It was revealed that the bus had been taking wedding guests home to Singleton after a joyous and festive celebration of love and commitment. In many ways the celebrations had been continuing as the bus drove along.

The beautiful community of Singleton would be hardest hit by the tragic consequence of this tragic event at Greta.

So many lives forever changed in just one tiny instant.

It is important now that we each take stock and grieve in our own way and according to our own timelines. Today some people will be ready to move on while others won’t reach that point for days, weeks, months or years.

Immediately standing up crisis centres for people to get the help and support that they need is an incredibly important step in making sure that our community feels valued and important. So too having a site that people can visit, to lay flowers or a note, and simply reflect.

We will be guided by those directly affected as to when we might have a wider memorial service if one is asked for. We will also be guided as to when, where and what type of memorial might be built near the crash site, if the victims and families tell us that they want one.

I extend my sincere condolences and sympathies to every single person touched by this event. And I imagine that for a little while we might all go a little bit quieter and a little bit softer about our way.

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For enquiries regarding the State Government or its departments, or to put you in contact with someone who can help, please contact my office.  My office can be contacted by phoning 4991-1466, by email to cessnock@parliament.nsw.gov.au or call into 118 Vincent Street (PO Box 242), Cessnock 2325. 

You can also follow me on my Facebook page “www.facebook.com/claytonbarrmp”,  follow me on Instagram at “claytonbarrmp“ or check out my website at www.claytonbarr.com.au