Fifty years ago, on 15 October at 11.50 in the morning, Australia saw the worst ever industrial disaster in the nation’s history in Melbourne. It was really no accident. The West Gate Bridge collapsed due to the negligence of the employer. Thirty Five workers who were building it died and didn’t get the chance to go home to their families.
Unions have observed the day every year since. Because of Melbourne’s Covid-19 lock down, the event had to be virtual this year.
The tragedy led to a major battle to improve occupational health and safety across all industries. This eventually resulted in new laws giving some protection.
Below is the address by the Secretary of the Victorian branch of the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU), Tony Mavromatis.
The second video is footage from the day after the collapse
Video from AMWU Victoria
Westgate Bridge Collapse extra footage.
Video from telerecordings