Open letter to Wonthaggi community organisations, businesses and community members:
Bass Coast Shire councillors (council) as joint Trust Members for the Wonthaggi Cemetery Trust play a critical role to properly and efficiently manage and maintain the Wonthaggi Public Cemetery (cemetery).
In exercising its functions in good faith, the council must have regard to:
– cultural and religious values of the community; and
– heritage values of the cemetery.
Since the front page article entitled ‘Dying shame’ was published in the South Gippsland Sentinel-Times on November 19, and as a result of further representations, the council has moved forward in a positive way to consider major improvements necessary to help create a safe and healthy environment for all cemetery stakeholders including the general public, funeral celebrants, funeral directors, pall bearers, mourners, stone masons, employees, independent contractors and volunteers.
Council has responsibilities to ensure that members of the public entering the cemetery are not exposed to risks to their health or safety, as outlined in Common Law, and Statute Law (including the Victorian Occupational Health and Safety Act), and Council Policy including its Disability Action Plan.
Council has acknowledged the need to make significant and continuing improvements to the cemetery to address health and safety risks, including provision of:
– modern and effective drainage systems;
– other infrastructure such as sealed roads and paths with mobility services for anyone who needs some extra help in getting around the cemetery; and
– safe access to and from grave sites for all population groups including older persons, and members of the public with a disability – even people with an injury or temporary disability.
Community engagement and feedback is essential to ensure that community organisations, businesses and community member expectations are understood and acknowledged by council.
Therefore, I welcome your questions as well as your suggestions, concerns and ideas in relation to potential improvement works at the cemetery. Please provide support and any feedback you may have through one of the following avenues:
– Email to Les Larke: firstname.lastname@example.org
– Letter to Les Larke: PO Box 904, Wonthaggi 3995
Les Larke, Fellow Certified Practicing Accountant, Wonthaggi.