Cessnock continues commitment to our cemeteries
Cessnock City Council is encouraging residents to have their say on the Cemeteries Masterplan that will guide the future of the 12 cemeteries managed by Council. The Masterplan is now on public exhibition until Wednesday 13 March.
The future of our local cemeteries has been at the front of all our minds after Council’s recent rejection of the NSW Government’s disturbing cemetery legislation. These changes introduced in June 2018 under the Cemetery and Crematoria Regulation 2018 enables cemetery operators to introduce a system that allows graves to be rented for a period of 25 years to 99 years for people who cannot afford a permanent site. This concerned the community as many families have been here for generations and these changes could have implications for residents both past and present.
Council understands the future of cemeteries in the Cessnock Local Government Area is important to all residents and developed the masterplan following comprehensive community engagements.
The engagement was undertaken in two phases and enabled the community an opportunity to actively participate. The first phase focused on educating the community and gathering thoughts and ideas about cemeteries. Phase two presented the first draft of the masterplan and the guiding principles to the community that will inform any future decisions about cemeteries.
Cessnock City Mayor, Councillor Bob Pynsent said this is a sensitive and important project that could not be undertaken without the community’s input.
“The community feedback was positive and really valuable in helping Council develop the masterplan. We understand that any changes need to be respectful not only to those who have been laid to rest but for their loved ones who use our cemeteries as places for reflection and memory.”
Concept Masterplans were produced for the two lawn cemeteries in the LGA, the Gordon Williams Memorial Lawn Cemetery and the Kurri Kurri General and Lawn Cemetery. Key recommendations were developed for the other cemeteries located within the LGA.
The Cemeteries Masterplan will be on exhibition from 11 Monday February 2019 until Wednesday 12 March. The document can be viewed at the following locations:
- Council’s Administration Building (Customer Service Section);
- Branxton Post Office;
- Cessnock Public Library;
- Kurri Kurri Public Library;
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