Gunnedah Shire Council is seeking community feedback on its plans for future development of the Gunnedah Memorial Park Cemetery.

Council is working with consultants from Locale Consulting to develop a masterplan of the whole cemetery site, which includes expansion opportunities on undeveloped land on the southern side of the site.

Two draft concept plans have been presented and the local community is now invited to consider the options and provide feedback through a survey. This can be accessed online via a search on the Gunnedah Shire Council’s website.

The area of expansion is to be along Wandobah and McCalls Road. The survey allows members of the community to answer via multiple-choice style questions or longer-form answers.

The survey addresses what the expanded Gunnedah Memorial Park Cemetery could look like, focusing on aspects like vegetation, pathways and memorialisation spaces for the interment of ashes.

The survey also provides opportunities to provide feedback on features that could be included in the expansion and details about

their inclusion. Some of these features include a formalised parking area, signage, shade, seating and access.

Costs of interment services, pathways, safety and security, maintained gardens and the provision of signage to help locate graves are also some of the features that invite the community to rate their importance as part of the cemetery’s expansion.

Concerning the layout, the survey provides possible options regarding tree placement.

One of the options include a style similar to the occasional large native trees in Portion A, fronting Wandobah Road.

Other options include minimal trees to allow for a more open style cemetery or formal trees planted along roads or to divide portions.

Another of the options is for trees to be more densely planted surrounding the burial areas on the edge of the cemetery.

Consideration is also given to a suitable place for the interment of ashes. Various options are provided such as a bushwalk style memorial walk, memorial walls or formal gardens.

In terms of the master plan concept options, two plans have been

developed as part of the initial


They build on the existing cemetery layout but have differences on the vegetation and setting.

The first option uses a similar style to the existing Portion C. This plan will mirror the layout of the part of the cemetery furthest from Wandobah Road and utilise a lawn beam style arrangement.

The second option is a partial natural area setting on the expansion land furthest from Wandobah Road. A more natural look could fit the area with features such as memorial walks, seating, native planting, shelter and the possible inclusion of natural burial portions.

The survey asks for feedback on the level of interest regarding ‘natural burial’ processes. The process of natural burial involves limited memorial or burial infrastructure such as head stones and is said to be becoming more popular around the world. The burial area is usually maintained as natural bushland.

Gunnedah Shire Council was contacted regarding estimated costs, when work could begin and if the Gunnedah community would shoulder any of the costs.

Council said that the plan for expansion is under development and that no plan can be finalised until the community consultation period is over.

At the conclusion of the consultation period a final master plan will be drawn up and placed on public exhibition for further comment. Feedback via the survey is due by Friday, June 28.

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