Point Cook overpass: Air Crash Memorial
On 11 October 1967 an incident occurred when Flying Officer Samuel Barkley, aged 23 at the time, and Sublieutenant Michael Lynch, aged 21, were taking off in a Vampire jet trainer at Laverton air base located in my electorate. It was the last day of a 10-day working-up exercise for radar crews on the destroyer escort HMAS Parramatta in Port Phillip Bay. The plane experienced engine failure and crashed, killing both men on board. Navy pilot Sublieutenant Lynch tried desperately to land the Vampire jet trainer back on the north–south runway without overshooting. It was several feet above the ground and travelling in excess of 200 kilometres an hour. He managed to put the aircraft down between the railway line and the Princes Highway, thus avoiding hitting the roadway and potentially killing many motorists, but sadly both men lost their lives.
The point of impact was in direct line with the Palmers Road overpass, and the issue I raise and which I will raise with the Minister for Roads is that the local community has expressed a view that this bridge should stand as a permanent memorial to these brave young men. It would be an opportunity to show that Victorians do not forget those who have bravely served their nation, irrespective of the passing of time. It is also a bridge that will undergo completion.