Cemetery Policy

Policy Review

Lachlan Shire Council (LSC) will review its Cemetery Policy after a public outcry erupted over the request to remove trinkets and ornaments from graves in the Lawn section.

• The Lachlan Shire Council will review its Cemetery Policy at its monthly meeting, to be held today, Wednesday, 21 October. The review comes after a public outcry over the request that trinkets and ornaments be removed from the Lawn Section. MB

By Melissa Blewitt

Lachlan Shire Council (LSC) will review its Cemetery Policy after a public outcry erupted over the request to remove trinkets and ornaments from graves in the Lawn section.

A report by the General Manager which will be presented to the monthly Council meeting, today, Wednesday 21 October, will recommend Council review the Policy and make any necessary adjustments.

The Cemetery Policy, adopted by Council in December 2014, was advertised in local papers, and at the Council Office in Condobolin and Lake Cargelligo according to LSC General Manager Robert Hunt.

He pointed to the “groundswell of criticism” by community members as the reason why an “immediate review” was required.

The concerns expressed by the community pertain to plaques and monuments, Mr Hunt said.

The recommended review of the Cemetery Policy will ensure that the definition of “Monument” will provide a more detailed interpretation as to what can or cannot be located at the gravesite, he added.

Mr Hunt said one of the objectives of the policy is to ensure a neat and tidy lawn cemetery.

“Efficient mowing of the lawn sections is occasionally disrupted by a variety of objects placed in the lawn section and these items should be restricted to the concrete plinth where possible,” Mr Hunt said.

“I apologise for any confusion that the interpretation of this policy may have caused and at the October meeting of Council I’m sure Council will make minor adjustments to the policy to provide more details on what can and cannot be placed at lawn cemetery grave sites.”

The Cemetery Policy currently adopted is relatively standard across NSW, with neighbouring Councils adopting similar approaches.

Forbes Shire Council’s policy states “That vases, pots, ornaments etc, be permitted to be placed on graves for a period of up to six months from the date of burial. After this time, Council staff will remove the vases/pots/ornaments etc.”

It goes on to say “Vases/pots/ornaments are not to be affixed to the beam.”

Parkes Shire Council also has a similar Policy. Their Lawn Cemetery – Policy and Maintenance Procedures says “Only plaques or approved headstones and flower receptacles are to be erected on the beams.”

Furthermore it states “A period of six months will be allowed for temporary grave site identification and flower receptacles prior to the installation of plaque or headstone.”

It also says “All unauthorised items including; receptacles, string and garden lights, ornaments and containers etc will be removed and held at Parkes Shire Council Administration Centre for collection by owner.”

The final line of the Policy states “The basis of the Policy is to maintain the Lawn Cemetery to an acceptable and safe standard by limiting the accumulation of flowers and especially unauthorised containers.”

Any correspondence relating to the review of the Cemetery Policy can be mailed to PO Box 216, Condobolin NSW 2877. The Cemetery Policy, if revised, will go on public exhibition for 28 days before going to Council for final adoption.

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