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Memorial plan for jumping castle victims

Countless tributes to the six victims of the Hillcrest Primary School jumping castle tragedy in northwest Tasmania will form part of a permanent memorial.

Flowers, teddy bears, toys and heartfelt messages of support continue to be left outside the school in Devonport after the freak accident during end-of-year celebrations on December 16.

Devonport City Council has announced it will collect the tributes on Friday.

“Council will ensure these tributes are stored safely and will work with the family members, and the Hillcrest school community, to create a permanent memorial for the young lives that were taken too early,” council general manager Matthew Atkins said.

“It is not known what this will be at this stage, but what is known is that it will be a suitable place where our community can remember these precious children.”

Jye Sheehan and Zane Mellor, both 12, were formally farewelled by family and friends last week.

Funerals for their schoolmates Peter Dodt, Jalailah Jones and Addison Stewart are scheduled to be held in coming days.

Chace Harrison, 11, became the sixth victim three days after the incident.

Around 40 children were enjoying celebrations on the final day of the school year when a gust of wind picked up the jumping castle and several inflatable zorb balls.

Tasmania Police and Worksafe Tasmania will provide reports to the coroner, with investigations ongoing.

Mr Atkins said the council will also collect any tributes left after Friday.

“People across Tasmania, and across the nation, have also passed on items and their thoughtful messages to impacted families and the Hillcrest school community,” he said.

“Thank you to our community who are continuing to support our most impacted families.”

Two boys badly injured in the accident were moved out of intensive care last week after their condition improved from critical to stable.

More than $1.4 million has been raised for the families via an online fundraising page, while the federal government has committed $800,000 to counselling and support for the region.

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