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Photographs supplied by Neil Follett

A bluestone monument donated by CFMEU members at Bamstone, Port Fairy commemorates Joseph "Joe" Owens.

Joe Owens was the last worker killed during the building of the West Gate bridge. Joe, a rigger who hailed from Roscommon in Ireland, died on December 7, 1972.

The West Gate Bridge, spanning 2.5 kilometres connects Melbourne’s western suburbs to its CBD. It is one of Australia's biggest cable-stayed girder bridges and is used by 160,000 vehicles daily. With its distinctive curving shape, the West Gate is instantly recognisable and one of the city’s iconic structures, but it also stands as a monument to Australia’s worst industrial accident.

On October 15 1970, a section of the bridge collapsed during construction, sending 35 workers to their death.



Address:Douglas Parade & Hyde Street, under Westgate Bridge, Spotswood, 3015
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -37.828308
Long: 144.895267
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:People
Actual Event STart Date:07-December-1972
Actual Event End Date:07-December-1972


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Saturday 15th October, 2011
Front Inscription

 In Memory Of Joseph Charles "Joe" Owens (Rigger)

Age 31   Born on January 11, 1941   In Lismehy, Strokestown, County Roscommon,  Ireland

was tragically killed on December 7, 1972 on the east side of the during the construction of the Westgate Bridge.

Joe will always be remembered by his family and comrades 

Westgate Bridge Memorial Committee 2011

Back Inscription


Forty years after the tragedy of 1970, the workers of the West ate Bridge strengthening project remember the sacrifices of an earlier generation.

They left us a mighty legacy.  The struggle continues and in the words of a great philosopher - " Now and then the workers are victoriuos, but only for a time. The real fruit of their battle lies, not in the immediate result, but in the ever expanding union of the workers."  


Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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