The Andrews Labor Government will pay tribute to the victims of the West Gate Bridge tragedy by lowering the bridge flags to half-mast on the 45th anniversary of the collapse on Thursday 15 October.
At 11.50am on October 15, 1970, as construction continued on the bridge, a 112 metre span gave way killing 35 workers and injuring another 18.
Both the Australian and Victorian flags will be lowered to half-mast from 7am to 7pm on 15 October each year, in a mark of respect to those killed and injured in Australia’s worst industrial accident.
To commemorate the 45th anniversary of the collapse, a service run by the West Gate Bridge Memorial Committee will be held at the memorial site beneath the bridge in Douglas Parade, Spotswood from 11.30am.
A memorial plaque paid for by bridge workers was unveiled on 15 October 1978 with the names of each of the 35 victims.
The West Gate Memorial Park, located on the site of the bridge collapse, was opened in 2004 and includes sculptures and a plaque which lists the names of each of the victims.
Following the disaster, the West Gate Bridge Memorial Park Association was formed to increase awareness of workplace accidents and to promote workplace safety.
Quotes attributable to the Premier Daniel Andrews
“We must never forget the workers who were killed in this tragedy as well as the survivors, and the heroes who risked their own safety to help in any way they could.”
“Lowering the flags on the bridge each year on the anniversary of the collapse is a small, but important way we can honour those we lost.”
Quotes attributable to the Minister for Finance Robin Scott
“This is a significant day, commemorating the worst workplace disaster in Victorian history. The Andrews Labor Government offers its condolences to those Victorian families who have been impacted by the tragedy.”
“The West Gate Bridge disaster serves as a historic reminder for the need to concentrate on safety at work.”
Quotes attributable to the Minister for Roads and Road Safety Luke Donnellan
“While we can’t bring them back, we will always remember them and as a community we must continue to work towards making sure every Victorian returns home safely to their families every day.”
“The 35 brave men who lost their lives on the bridge on October 15, 1970 were simply going about their job and that should never be forgotten.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020