MidCoast Council is checking memorial monuments in cemeteries to ensure they are safe, starting with the Bight Cemetery at Wingham this week.
Monuments are owned by the family, not council, and it is the family's responsibility to refurbish or restore them, council's manager of community spaces, recreation and trades, Dan Aldridge said.
"We're assessing monuments and where they pose a public safety risk, they will be laid down, with inscriptions facing up and visible," he said. Council will take photos and keep records of inscriptions to ensure the preservation of full information about each monument and those buried there.
The assessments will be carried out across the Mid Coast, with signage being placed at cemetery entrances to inform visitors.
"We're planning works to be respectful of funerals taking place, and the days before and after funerals, when we expect family and friends to attend cemeteries," Mr Aldridge said.
"If you or your family own a monument that is laid down, and you would like to restore or rehabilitate it, we welcome enquiries to make arrangements," said Mr Aldridge.
Following an initial assessment of all monuments, annual inspections will be undertaken as part of a continuous program to ensure the safety of our public cemeteries.
All new monuments, and refurbished monuments, are required to meet Australian Standards. Contact MidCoast Council on 6591 7222 for more information.
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