14 January 2021

Bega draft cemetery strategy released for public comment

| Sharon Kelley
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Headstone of Syms Covington’s grave at Pambula Cemetery.

Syms Covington’s grave at Pambula Cemetery. Photo: Supplied.

Bega Valley Shire Council is seeking community feedback on a draft strategy to manage 14 cemeteries across the shire to meet future needs.

Council has endorsed a new funding model for the maintenance and management of cemeteries, which is option four in the draft strategy.

“A key element of the [draft] strategy is a funding model to ensure our cemeteries are maintained to a high standard that fits with community expectations,” said Bega Valley Shire Council’s property and facilities coordinator Rickee Marshall.

“Several funding models are considered in the draft cemetery strategy with option four endorsed by council. This model proposes the continued subsidisation of costs through council’s general fund, with a modest four per cent increase in burial fees.

“Cemeteries represent the final resting place for our loved ones, hold deep historical connections, provide important snapshots into the past, and connect families.

“For example, Pambula Cemetery is the final resting place of Syms Covington, whose role as Charles Darwin’s servant and shooter played a pivotal role in the famous naturalist’s theory of evolution.

“Maintaining this sense of community and family history in perpetuity is something we take very seriously so it’s important we develop a strategy that places equal emphasis on preserving stories from our past and adapting for the future.

“So far, we’ve consulted with local firm Kategic Strategic Solutions, plus industry and community stakeholders to help us develop the draft, and now we’d like to hear from the broader community.”

To read and comment on the draft strategy, go to Bega Valley Shire Council’s Have Your Say website before Monday, 22 February, 2021.

Hard copies are also available at Bega Valley Shire Council’s administration office and in all council libraries throughout the exhibition period.

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