Snub for SES who attended Cowper crash
THE NSW Government will not be offering any individual recognition to SES volunteers who attended the 1989 Cowper bus crash.
In response to a request from Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis, the Minister for Police and Emergency Services Michael Gallacher has indicated unit citations and a certificate from then-NSW premier Nick Greiner to the Grafton and Maclean SES units were sufficient recognition.
A former paid SES officer, Bryan Robins, is disgusted with the minister's response.
Mr Robins, who was the paid executive officer for the local SES at the time of the crash, has been fighting for the past two years to get recognition for the volunteers.
"Nowhere in the letter does it provide a reason why the government can't provide that simple act of recognition for these people," he said.
"He writes: 'We recognise the hard work and bravery of these men and women who do an extraordinary job in the toughest of conditions'.
"That's just BS. There is no recognition for their efforts or bravery."
Mr Robins said he had spoken with the volunteers over the years and their needs were very simple.
"They just want a certificate with the government's logo on it and their names, recognising and thanking them for their contribution," he said.
"These people are still dealing with the trauma of what they saw when they attended those accidents and that simple act of recognition would help them deal with it.
"They've never asked for anything. They just want something personal with their names on it. How simple and humble is that?"
Mr Gulaptis said he will take the idea to Premier Barry O'Farrell next year.