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Donation fund set-up to support families of Greta bus tragedy

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People throughout the country have not only opened their hearts to the grieving Upper Hunter community but also their wallets in the wake of the Greta bus tragedy.

Just after 11.30pm on Sunday 11 June, a Singleton-bound coach, carrying 36 individuals from a Lovedale wedding, overturned at the roundabout on Wine Country Drive near the Hunter Expressway off ramp.

Heartbreakingly, 10 were declared dead with another 25 transported to hospitals in Maitland, Newcastle and Sydney via helicopter and ambulances.

While the accident has had a profound effect on Australians everywhere, it’s rocked the close-knit communities of Cessnock and Singleton.

Locals and visitors alike have laid flowers at the crash site, paying respect to those who lost their lives.

In recent days, to assist the families impacted by the disaster, the Singleton Roosters set-up a GoFundMe page, which has already amassed more than $120,000.

However, that’s now closed after the NSW Government announced on Wednesday 14 June it would gift $100,000 to a newly-established endowment, the Premier’s Discretionary Fund.

“Thank you to all who have asked us where they can continue to donate,” said Melanie Sunderland who organised the page.

“Members of the public looking to support the families and injured through a donation are encouraged to visit Rotary at www.rawcs.org.au.

“The fund will be able to collect and dispense swiftly to those in need.”

NSW Premier Chris Minns said the tragedy had been felt right across the state.

“When tragic events like this occur, it’s the Australian way to reach out and support one another,” he explained.

“I know many people are looking at ways to help the families affected by this heartbreaking accident, and I encourage people to donate directly through the website – it’s the quickest way to get funds to those who need them most.”

The fund, to be co-managed by the NSW Government and Rotary Australia, will provide benevolent relief and assistance to survivors, victims and their immediate families from the events of the fatal Greta bus crash.

“The ripples are being felt across Singleton as people come to terms with the scale of the loss and impact,” Singleton mayor Sue Moore said.

“I know the people of Singleton are big-hearted and generous.

“So, this fund is a straightforward way they can show their support and know that the help will go directly to those that need it.”

Cessnock City mayor Jay Suvaal agreed.

“What the families of those bus passengers are going through is unimaginable,” he said.

“The people of this region have already opened their homes and their businesses to support those families who are now so desperately in need.

“This fund will add another way in which anyone – in Cessnock, in Singleton and across the state – can donate a little or a lot to help.”

Members of the public are encouraged to visit www.rawcs.org.au.

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