In her first official act as administrator, Suzanna Sheed joined administrator John Tanner and Moira Shire Council acting chief executive Joshua Lewis in unveiling the memorial plaque which sits underneath a weeping cherry blossom tree, a symbol of rebirth, renewal, and new beginnings.
The catalyst for the memorial was the Strathmerton accident which claimed the lives of local Debbie Markey along with four international workers; Pin-Yu Wang, Hsin-Yu Chen, Wai Yan Lam and Zih-Yao Chen earlier this year.
The accident also killed Ms Markey’s dog.
Mr Tanner said the memorial was not just to remember the lives lost but was a fitting tribute to the spirit of the community which rallied together in the wake of the crash.
“Rallying to support those in need is something residents of Moira Shire should be proud of,” Mr Tanner said.
Mr Tanner said the community should never forget the people lost in road crashes.
“The state is experiencing its worst road toll in many years and the shire has not escaped this trauma… it tears families apart with grief and the loss of life is palpable,” he said.
Speaking after the memorial service, Ms Markey’s son, Daniel Montero, said that his mother was the life the party and that she would have been stoked at the turnout at the ceremony.
“Mum was always the flamboyant extravagant one at the family events … she’d love to party and was the life of the party.”
He called the memorial and plaque, as well as the immediate response by the council to make the road in which the crash happened safer, a massive step in the right direction and said he hoped that no other family would have to go through what he has had to suffer.
“The works that have started on the actual site itself, the crash site is very, very remarkable. I’m happy that things have happened so quickly,” he said.
Since the accident Moira Shire Council has put measures in place to try and reduce accidents, including changing speed limits and installing warning signs at the intersection.
Council is also looking at a corridor plan along the Murray Valley Hwy east of Echuca to identify and prioritise future investment along the highway.
“We must aim at meeting the state’s Road Safety Strategy 2030 by reducing road trauma by 50 per cent between 2020 and 2030,” Mr Lewis said.