The fallen Victoria Police officers killed in the tragic Melbourne freeway crash will be mourned in four separate private funerals in the coming days due to the state’s coronavirus restrictions.
Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton today revealed the small four ceremonies would abide by social distancing regulations, including a 10-person limit on attendees.
A larger ceremony is hoped to be held in future weeks once coronavirus measures are lifted.
“We are going to hold four small services at some different locations,” he said.
“They will be livestreamed so members will be able to look at those, watch those.
“We’re also starting the planning on a larger memorial service with full police honours.
“It will have to be at a time when it is safe to do so and healthy to do so. But we have kicked off the planning to make that happen.”
Motion of condolence passed
Prime Minister Scott Morrison today said the motion expressed the country’s sympathies and support for the police officers and their families, following the devastating Eastern Freeway accident on Wednesday night.
Leading Senior Constable Lynette Taylor, Constable Glen Humphris, Senior Constable Kevin King and Constable Josh Prestney died when a refrigeration truck ploughed into the back of their vehicles on the freeway between the Chandler Highway and Burke Road exits in Kew at 5.40pm. Their deaths mark the deadliest day in Victoria Police history.
“We’re very pleased to receive the recommendation of that motion,” Mr Morrison said.
“The Victorian Premier, and all premiers, chief ministers and myself stand together with the Victorian Government, as they seek to support those families and those officers, in particular their fellow serving officers, who continue to go through a time of terrible grief.”
Condolence motions are moved as a mark of respect on the death of soldiers, as well as current and former senators and members, who lose their lives in the service of Australia.
They are also moved for significant events involving the loss of Australian lives, such as the Bali terrorist attacks in 2002.
Melbourne shines blue to honour fallen officers
Melbourne landmarks were bathed in blue overnight to honour the four fallen police officers who lost their lives in the horrific freeway crash.
Flinders Street Station, State Parliament, Federation Square, AAMI Park, Rod Laver Arena, National Gallery of Victoria, Arts Centre, MCG and the Melbourne Town Hall were all among the buildings lit up in a show of remembrance for the officers.
Floral tributes were placed outside Boroondara Police Station as a makeshift memorial, as well as at the Victoria Police memorial in Kings Domain and other Victorian stations. Flags around the state were also flown at half mast.
Victorians have tied blue ribbons outside their homes in a display of respect, while the Victorian Police Academy and the Police Association headquarters also shined blue last night.
Comm. Ashton today thanked the Victorian community for the overwhelming amount of support during the tragedy, with more than 142,000 people posting tributes on the Victoria Police Facebook page.
“I want to take the opportunity today to formally thank the Victorian community for their unbelievable outpouring of support for our policing community, particularly for our four officers who lost their lives on Wednesday night and also for their families and also for the broader policing family,” he said.
“I was personally deeply touched by the depth of condolence and the depth of the well wishing.”