I offer my condolences to the friends and families of the 10 victims of the tragic bus crash at Greta, along with all of those who suffered injuries. This truly shocking tragedy has left not just the Hunter but the country heartbroken. I have spent time in the community in the days since the accident and have felt firsthand their pain over this tragic loss of life. Many of the victims were locals, with close ties to the community and, as we know, their local sporting groups. This tragedy will be felt deeply right across our country, and it will be years before this tightknit community ever comes to terms with it. As police Minister, I have seen up close the role that police play in responding to these tragic incidents. As has been said, many of the police first responders were locals themselves. I acknowledge the role played by the NSW Police Force, NSW Ambulance, Fire and Rescue NSW and the NSW Rural Fire Service in this incident. I know that many of the first responders were not scheduled to work but showed up because they knew that there was a significant incident. I know that many stayed far beyond the shift they were scheduled to work. Their tireless efforts will not go unnoticed, and we thank them from the bottom of our hearts.
Police are on the front line in dealing with tragedies such as this, and after the crash a large-scale emergency response commenced. It included several police districts: Hunter Valley, Maitland—and I acknowledge the presence of the member for Maitland and thank her for her contribution—Port Stephens, Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and Tuggerah. They came from everywhere and it was an extraordinary response. In addition to that, there were police rescue, the Traffic and Highway Patrol, NSW Ambulance, Fire and Rescue NSW and the NSW Rural Fire Service. There were also a number of helicopters, Transport for NSW staff and those wonderful health workers in our hospital system.
After the initial emergency response was concluded and the victims transferred to hospital, a crime scene was established and examined by specialist forensic police officers from the Crash Investigation Unit. I will share with the House a conversation that I had with those members, led by Sergeant Kristen Rafter from the Crash Investigation Unit. They had just come back into the Cessnock Police Station after finishing up at the scene. It was almost 6.00 p.m. by that stage, and they still had several hours of work to bring evidence together before leaving that night. What struck me was that they had actually come from another crash before they attended this one, but they did not miss a beat. They just said, "Minister, we're doing our job." That is what they do—they do their job. These are people who need to be commended.
It is in these truly dark moments that we see the best of who we are as Australians. As police Minister, I was extremely proud of the work of the NSW Police Force. They turned up to work to save lives at this horrific scene because that is what they do when they do their jobs. Our responders from the police, the ambulance service and Fire and Rescue NSW rushed to the scene, working tirelessly throughout the night and morning to free and treat the injured and get them to hospital as quickly as possible. It was described to me that never have emergency services worked so well together. In fact, it was said it was like clockwork. They did not miss a beat.
Thankfully, most of us can only imagine the terrible scene that our first responders had to deal with that night. Again, I thank them for the selfless and professional way that they carry out their lifesaving work whenever they are called upon. I particularly acknowledge the work of Acting Assistant Commissioner Tracy Chapman in keeping the community up to date and overseeing the police response. I also acknowledge those who were in charge at the scene: Matt Zimmer, whom I met when I first arrived and who had been there since the midnight before, and Wayne Humphry, who took over, from the Port Stephens command. I also acknowledge Assistant Commissioner Dave Waddell for his contribution and leadership. I visited and thanked local police officers for their work in responding to this tragedy and made clear to them that the Government's commitment to support them to deal with the mental scars left after confronting such a horrific scene is ongoing.
I also share with the House the conversations I had with the family liaison officers. Those amazing police officers are there to assist the families, not only on the night and the following day but for the weeks and months ahead. They are there to help families travel through this shocking and horrific time. I met a couple of those officers, one of whom is from my own local area command at Lake Macquarie, Tarryn Lewis. What an outstanding individual she is, and they were all of the same calibre. They are incredible people doing work on behalf of New South Wales. I thank them for that. The Government has established a drop-in support clinic for the community and that support will continue. As has been said, Rotary Australia has partnered with the Government. and we thank them for that as well. I can assure the community and those first responders that the Government is here to support them, not just for now but in the years to come.