June 22, 2024 6:21 AM

Memorial Garden to Recognise Bus Crash Victims


An artist’s impression of the design of the memorial garden to honour bus crash victims.

Cessnock City Council has commenced construction on a memorial garden dedicated to honouring the victims of the tragic bus crash that occurred on June 11 last year.

The devastating crash, which claimed the lives of 10 individuals and injured 25, has had a profound and wide-reaching impact, and Cessnock City Council has worked closely with the families of those who lost their lives to establish a lasting tribute.

Situated less than 1km from the crash site, part-way along the Branxton to Greta Memorial Shared Pathway currently under construction, the space aims to provide a tranquil setting for remembrance and reflection.

The memorial garden will feature 10 deciduous Pyrus Calleryana trees, each representing a life lost in the tragedy, along with individual memorial plaques displaying wording provided by the families.

Low planted mounds and locally occurring native grasses, groundcovers and woodland trees will screen the garden from the road and create a quiet, safe space for those wanting to pay their respects, along with users of the shared pathway.

A sandstone wall will formalise the edge of the memorial lawn, and seating will be provided beneath the shade of the commemorative trees.

Cessnock City Mayor Jay Suvaal thanked everyone involved in making this project happen, including the NSW Government who are making a financial contribution, and was pleased to share that the memorial garden will be completed in time to acknowledge the one-year anniversary of the crash on June 11, 2024.

“The devastating crash over the King’s Birthday long weekend last year had a profound impact on communities in our region and around the country,” said Clr Suvaal.

“Council identified an opportunity to dedicate a site to establish a safe, peaceful and respectful memorial garden for the families of victims, residents and visitors to pay their respects, and has consulted with the families on the concept and design of this lasting tribute.

The memorial garden will be located on the New England Highway between Branxton and Greta. Council is also working with the families to explore options for a significant memorial closer to the crash site in the future.