10 October 2023

Public asked for feedback on design of new Queanbeyan cemetery

| Claire Sams
Start the conversation
Queanbeyan cemetery

Queanbeyan–Palerang Regional Council is asking the public to comment on plans for a new cemetery as the existing Lanyon Drive site (above) nears capacity. Photo: Sally Hopman.

The next stage of public consultation for Queanbeyan’s next cemetery is underway.

Planned designs for the new Googong Memorial Garden were recently made public, with the concept design document including information on analysis of the site, proposed designs and a possible colour palette.

Queanbeyan–Palerang Regional Council Manager Urban Landscapes Tim Geyer said the community could submit feedback on plans for a new kind of cemetery.

“For a modern facility, we don’t just want to look back at what a cemetery used to look like,” he said.

“We wanted a place that’s tranquil, somewhere which has got aspects where people can grieve in a nice environment and also help with their healing.

“That’s where the proposal of a memorial garden came from, rather than a traditional cemetery.

“This is intended as a place where people can memorialise their loved ones, and also have aspects of recreation within the site with walking tracks, sculptures, various gardens and so forth.

Planning for a new cemetery for the Queanbeyan area began in 2009, when it was realised the Lanyon Drive Cemetery in Queanbeyan was quickly filling.

“The council of the day [the then–Queanbeyan City Council] moved to start looking for a new greenfield site to start a new cemetery,” Mr Geyer said.

“We did everything we could to squeeze every square metre out of the existing cemetery, and set about on a task to find a suitable location.”

READ ALSO Mimi gives cloth nappies a makeover on Shark Tank Australia

Council purchased a site for the new cemetery at the corner of Old Cooma and Burra Roads, near Googong in 2017.

The land has since been rezoned to allow for the cemetery to be built.

Once it is open, it is expected to have space for more than 18,000 interments.

Mr Geyer acknowledged that some people had raised concerns with the site, including the risk of flooding and public transport access.

“We are still confident in the site,” he said.

“You go into a project like this with all of these questions [about suitability] that you have to answer.

“To get through the planning phases, it involves very thorough studies into all elements of the site – not just for starting a cemetery, but for the long–term management of it.”

The announcement followed an April 2023 decision by council to place a temporary pause on reserving a plot at Queanbeyan General Cemetery.

“That [pause] will still stay in place,” Mr Geyer said.

“It needs to, so we can manage the remaining spaces until we have a new facility.

“Once we have the alternate place, we can look at reopening it for the remaining plots, as well as opening up the new facility at the same time.”

READ ALSO Laksa (and other dishes) are on the menu as Canberra restaurant expands into Queanbeyan

Mr Geyer said that while some people might feel uncomfortable talking about cemeteries, it was something council needed to consider.

“There are very genuine concerns that people have, particularly if they live nearby [to the proposed site],” he said.

“But equally, this is one of the most important community service projects that a council could ever do, in making sure the community is well catered for, into the long–term future.”

He encouraged everyone in the Queanbeyan–Palerang area to make a submission.

“This is a development that impacts the whole of Queanbeyan,” he said.

“We also want feedback from the wider community, because it’ll be the wider community that it services, well into the future.

“We [council] are also meeting with different faith groups, with the Aboriginal community, different cultural groups and so forth.”

The proposed designs are available for public comment via council’s Your Voice website until 10 November.

Start the conversation

Daily Digest

Do you like to know what’s happening around your region? Every day the About Regional team packages up our most popular stories and sends them straight to your inbox for free. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.