Ms JODI McKAY ( Strathfield ) ( 10:39 ): I thank the Premier and the Minister for Transport and Infrastructure for making an apology to the people and communities that were impacted by the Granville train disaster. The disaster killed 83 people and injured 213 others when fasteners came loose on a track, sending the Blue Mountains train careering into a weakened bridge. The apology to the people affected by the Granville train disaster was long overdue. The member for Granville and the member for Blue Mountains shared stories about the impact of the terrible event on their communities, both then and now. I thank them for representing their communities and showing, in a bipartisan way, Labor's support for this apology—albeit offered 40 years after the crash.
To be in this place is a privilege, and that was brought home to all of us on the day that the Premier, the Leader of the Opposition, and the transport Minister stood and offered the apology. It is my job to hold the Government to account when needed, but on this occasion I thank the transport Minister for doing what other governments—including Labor governments—did not. I appreciate the weight of responsibility that rests on whoever is transport Minister to ensure that there is always a focus on rail safety in New South Wales. The events of that day continue to remind us of what can happen when a commitment to safety is undermined. I reiterate the importance of this apology and the recognition it brings to those who lost family members and friends on 18 January 1977.
I acknowledge the emergency workers who arrived that day and were confronted with Australia's worst rail disaster. I thank, in particular, the member for Granville. She told the story of Father Les Campion. He was a man of faith who offered comfort to those affected by the crash. It is stories like his that make this apology real and meaningful. It captures the magnitude of the event and the number of people, from all walks of life, who were affected by the disaster. It is important to note that on the day the apology was offered by the Premier and the Leader of the Opposition the public gallery was full of the family and friends of those who lost their lives. There were also survivors, and I acknowledge the impact that this event had on them that day, and every day since. I hope that the words spoken in the apology ease somewhat the terrible burden of loss, guilt, despair and sorrow.
This apology was too long in coming. That is a failure of Labor, The Nationals, and the Liberal Party, but I thank the Premier and the transport Minister for making it right. I offer my sincerest apology to those whose lives were irrevocably changed that January day. I sincerely commend the motion to the House.