BENDIGO cemeteries will be restored and beautified, with extra measures put in place to maintain the grounds and deter vandals, the head of Bendigo cemeteries says.
Remembrance Parks Central Victoria, formerly known as Bendigo Cemeteries Trust, is set to launch a new long-term strategy to better maintain Bendigo’s six cemeteries.
Chief executive Graham Fountain said part of the plan was to invest in infrastructure to help secure the sites.
He said a number of small incidents, including a deliberately lit fire at Kangaroo Flat cemetery in December, highlighted the need to review fences and signage.
On Monday afternoon police were called to the Eaglehawk cemetery when a motorbike rider was doing wheelies through the cemetery.
Mr Fountain said the disturbances were not regular events but were happening “too frequently”.
He said maintenance of cemeteries also had room for improvement, with issues such as weed infestation causing problems.
“They’re not the parklands we want them to be,” he said. “The community have certain expectations.
“We want the cemeteries to be more of a community asset.”
In June last year – the week Mr Fountain took over as chief of the Cemeteries Trust – a Facebook page was set up calling for people to ‘Stop Smashing Up the Babies Graves at Eaglehawk Cemetery’.
He said capital works over the coming years would look at upgrading infrastructure, on top of “beautification works” across all cemeteries.