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Grave concerns

Monday, 22nd February, 2010

* The Wilcannia Cemetery after recent heavy rain. * The Wilcannia Cemetery after recent heavy rain.

Recent rainfall has been welcome but it has also highlighted a problem in Wilcannia that has angered residents.

Torrential rain has recently left much of the cemetery flooded, damaging graves and disrupting two funerals. Dulcie Evans, a member of the Wilcannia Cemetery Committee, said the condition of the roads and a feeble attempt by the Central Darling Shire Council to rectify the problem had forced the hearse driver to remove the coffin and have it carried 200 metres to the grave site.

She said two funerals were held last week and committee members were "disgusted by the council's efforts to fix the roads". Mrs Evans said the committee had on many occasion requested the council build up the road and have gravel placed over the top. But she said these requests had been ignored.

"The Wilcannia Cemetery is a very important place in our town and we need to get this fixed as soon as possible so it doesn't happen again." Mrs Evans said the council didn't seem to be listening and "everyone is sick of it".

Central Darling Shire General Manager Tim Hazell said on Friday that he was aware there had been some difficulty accessing the cemetery during wet weather. Although he had not seen the cemetery flooded, Mr Hazell said he was "more than happy to help people with this problem". "I encourage the community to come and talk to us," he said. "That's what we are here for." Mr Hazell said anyone with complaints should put them in writing and send them to the council.

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