Hillcrest funerals paid by state as fund remains undistributed

Tasmanian government picks up jumping castle bill while fund remains unavailable

More than $1 million to support families affected by the Tasmanian jumping castle tragedy is still sitting in a public fund established last year, but the state government has picked up the bill in the meantime.

That includes stepping in to pay for funerals, and the installation of a wheelchair access ramp.

The news that six children had died after their jumping castle was thrown into the air on a school fund day last year captured the hearts of thousands, who quickly got to work donating funds to support the families through an online fundraising platform.

Days later, the money was transferred into a public fund created specifically for the families of the children who had been killed or injured.

Donations continued to roll in, totalling more than $1.5 million by the end of December 2021.

Tasmanian State Recovery Adviser Craig Limkin said the funds would be made available "as soon as possible", and that the families were still being supported financially in the meantime.

"The Tasmanian government has worked with families to provide, where requested, immediate funding to support their needs, including funeral expenses and the installation of a wheelchair access ramp," he said.

"The Tasmanian Government will continue to work closely with each family to address their ongoing individual needs.

"This support is provided directly from the Tasmanian Government, separately to the Hillcrest Community Public Fund."


A distribution committee including original online fundraiser organiser Zoe Smith, Hillcrest Primary School principal Jerome Pape, Devonport Mayor Annette Rockliff, a representative from MyState Bank, Mr Limkin and the Devonport City Council secretariat, was announced at the same time as the public fund.

Mr Limkin said the committee was yet to be established to distribute the funds.

It follows a similar online fundraiser for the 2020 bushfires by comedian Celeste Barber, which ended in a legal battle after it was discovered the funds could not be used in the way Ms Barber and many donors had intended.

This story Tasmanian government picks up jumping castle bill while fund remains unavailable first appeared on The Advocate.