INVESTIGATIONS into developing a new cemetery in Tamworth are taking shape.
Almost 12 months after The Leader reported two of the region’s cemeteries, one at Barraba and the other in Tamworth, had less than 10 years worth of burial plots left, council has confirmed it is continuing to investigate the option of developing another lawn cemetery in Westdale.
While early contingency planning began at the end of last year Tamworth Regional Council’s manager of parks and horticulture Brian Sheedy said TRC was in the process of undertaking preliminary internal investigations into the development of a new Tamworth Lawn Cemetery site at Glen Artney Estate.
In December 2011, TRC councillors endorsed the development of a Regional Cemeteries Management Plan to provide a framework for the future operation and management of all cemeteries across the region.
“Work on the plan is well under way and a draft plan is expected to be considered by council in December this year,” Mr Sheedy said.
In November last year it was estimated the remaining life of the council-owned cemetery in Showground Rd – which was dedicated in 1863 and houses a little more than 14,000 graves now – was between five and 10 years.
Barraba’s cemetery in Milton St is faced with a similar situation but it was suggested the need to identify a site in the small town was less “time sensitive” than the situation in Tamworth.
The Showground Rd cemetery was established after the first cemetery, located on the Ebsworth St riverbank of Goonoo Goonoo Creek filled up quickly and, subsequently, multi-stacking and the placement of more than one person in a coffin was common.
In 1965 Tamworth City Council took over management of the facility and, in 1972, the lawn cemetery was opened.