Commencing this week, MidCoast Council is undertaking a program to ensure memorial monuments are made safe in cemeteries across the MidCoast region.
"We're assessing monuments in cemeteries, and where they pose a public safety risk, they will be laid down, with inscriptions facing up and visible," said Council's Manager of Community Spaces, Recreation and Trades, Dan Aldridge. Council will also take photos and keep records of inscriptions to ensure the preservation of full information about each monument and those buried there.
Work has begun in the Bight Cemetery at Wingham and will move around the region, with signage being placed at cemetery entrances to inform visitors.
"We're planning works to be respectful of funerals taking place, and the days before and after funerals, when we expect family and friends to attend cemeteries," said Mr Aldridge.
Monuments are owned by the family, not Council, and so it is the family's responsibility to refurbish or restore them.
"If you or your family own a monument that is laid down, and you would like to restore or rehabilitate it, we welcome enquiries to make arrangements," said Mr Aldridge.
Following an initial assessment of all monuments, annual inspections will be undertaken as part of a continuous program to ensure the safety of our public cemeteries.
All new monuments, and refurbished monuments, are required to meet Australian Standards. Contact MidCoast Council on 6591 7222 for more information.