The ABC News website reports that when the Bell River at Wellington peaked at 6.28 meters on Saturday morning it flooded the Wellington Pioneer Cemetery. Local residents are calling for authorities to act to stop the Wellington Pioneer cemetery, located about 50 kilometres south-east from Dubbo, from flooding. 

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The Pioneer Cemetery site was close to the site chosen by Lt Percy Simpson for the convict settlement in 1823. The original site continued to be used as Wellington’s general cemetery up until 1873, when the present general cemetery was opened across the road from it. The last recorded burial at the old site took place in 1905. In April 1932, the highway running between the old and new cemeteries was widened. Much of the old cemetery was resumed for this purpose, resulting in the loss of most of the headstones and grave markers. The present Mitchell Highway runs directly over the graves of many of the district’s pioneers.

The cemetery had flooded previously In 2016.

In a statement to the ABC, the Dubbo Regional Council said it was waiting on advice on which regulatory body is responsible for flood mitigation.