John Huckett, council's coordinator of the Bulahdelah depot, was shocked and disappointed at the theft and dismayed at the disrespect shown to those families who have loved ones buried at the cemetery.
"We want the public to be fully aware that council has not removed the fencing for any reason," Andrew Braybrook, council's manager of community services, said.
"New fence panels have been ordered, with these and the remaining panels to be spot welded in place, something that is not normally necessary at cemetery sites," Mr Braybrook added.
Mr Braybrook said the cost of the replacement panels and restoration works is expected to be more than $2000, which is unfortunate given the strain that council's budgets are under, saying the have paid for this fencing once already.
The matter has been reported to the police, and if anyone has any information about the missing fence panels, contact either the police or Great Lakes Council, telephone 6591 7222.