Gracemere man dead against cemetery expansion
GARY Lynch is dead set against any plans to expand the Gracemere cemetery.
Both of his parents are buried in the grounds, and while currently there are no restrictions on who can be buried there, he's worried what will happen when Rockhampton outgrows its own cemeteries.
He said a cemetery contains the town's history, and was worried that an expansion would lead to the local cemetery becoming more impersonal.
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"I think it is a major issue," he said.
"They want to turn a little local cemetery into a regional super-cemetery.
"Your cemetery belongs to your town, and the location of our cemetery is right in the middle of town ... it's really a community asset, not a regional one."
Mr Lynch is a member of the Gracemere Community Voice, and after the last meeting he heard about the Rockhampton Regional Council's plans to expand the cemetery.
He also said he was disappointed about a lack of consultation.
"If someone has got a connection with Gracemere and wants to be buried here, that's fine," he said.
"I just get the feeling that one day Rockhampton won't be big enough so they'll say you've got to go to Gracemere."
Rockhampton Regional Council CEO Evan Pardon said the Gracemere, Mount Morgan, Rockhampton and Bajool cemetery sites were available to all community members, including those who reside across and outside the region.
"Council is currently exploring cemetery and burial options across the region as a result of Rockhampton and Gracemere's increasing population," he said.
"Once those options have been explored, council will consider them."
Councillor Ellen Smith, whose division incorporates Gracemere, said council would run public consultation before deciding the best way forward.
Cr Smith said council needed to upgrade facilities to manage population growth.