Cemetery working on facility’s upkeep

Staff and volunteers at the Sale Cemetery are hoping to rectify issues. Photo: Tom Parry

Please note: The original story, published in theĀ Gippsland Times on Tuesday, May 3, inadvertently linked the issues at Sale Cemetery with a current advertisement for a Groundskeeper.

The Sale Cemetery Trust stresses that the issues regarding upkeep have arisen solely because of extraordinary growth coupled with downtime on mowers and equipment, rather than with staff.

The Groundskeeper position has been filled on contract in recent times and is now advertised as a permanent position.

The original story continues below.

 

Staff and volunteers at the Sale Cemetery are hoping to rectify issues pertaining to the upkeep of the graves and lawns.

Presentation of the site is currently being improved after drawing criticism from the public about its unkempt condition.

Sale Cemetery Trust deputy chair Pauline Hitchins said that the organisation is aware of the lawn maintenance issues and has been working with staff to improve the general presentation of the Cemetery.

“The rapid (grass) growth, which everyone has experienced in recent months, has been coupled with downtime on our mowers and equipment,” Ms Hitchins said.

“One replacement mower has been purchased and the Trust has applied for a grant to replace the larger mower.

“Staff have worked overtime to get on top of the issue but, because of the length of the grass, were unable to set the mower on mulch and clippings were thrown onto graves.

“Where possible, blowers and other equipment has been used to remove this.

“Once the lawns were at a reasonable level, mowers were returned to the usual settings.”

Ms Hitchins added that working bees were held by Trust volunteers over the weekend to help overcome these issues.

Additionally, the Trust recently advertised for a Groundskeeper position at the Cemetery, the applications for which are currently being processed.

The actions of the group come after the Gippsland Times received correspondence regarding upkeep of the Cemetery.

In a letter sent to Sale Cemetery Trust on April 25, one local resident described the “disgusting, disturbing” condition of the site, noting that cut grass was obscuring plaques and making them “unreadable.”

The issue has been rectified since said letter was sent, as the Gippsland Times observed when visiting the site on Thursday, April 28.

Sale Cemetery Trust in the process of forming a Friends group to help maintain the lawns and gardens at the level they aim to achieve.

Those wanting to join the Friends group can contact the Trust’s secretary on 0409 514 436 or e-mail info@salecemetery.com.au