News from Maitland in NSW:

"A web of legislation, guidelines and charters designed to protect Maitland’s historic cemetery monuments could in fact be hampering preservation efforts."

 "A report to Maitland City Council points to a growing number of monuments falling into disrepair due to red tape. 

An unknown whistleblower raised the concerns with council during public exhibition of a draft cemetery strategy that sets out new guidelines for cemetery management.

Council has acknowledged the difficulty in maintaining some of the city’s oldest monuments but dismissed the concerned person’s call to replace these crumbling tomb stones with more affordable granite.

“Council must comply with the National Trust’s guidelines and Burra Charter, therefore resulting in longer processing times and increased cost of works,” council corporate services executive manager Graeme Tolhurst said in a response to the concerns in a report to council.  “No changes will be made to the [cemetery] strategy in relation to this issue, however, simple restoration guidelines can be prepared for such works.”"

The article in the Maitland Mercury states "The care, maintenance and repair of monumental work are generally considered the responsibility of the family or estate of the deceased. Funding for repair projects which are not part of the normal cemetery maintenance program is regarded by the National Trust to be the joint responsibility of council, relatives of the deceased and the general public."