Heavy rain causes graves to sink at city cemetery

George Helon is concerned about subsidence of grave sites at Drayton and Toowoomba Cemetery after heavy rainfall events, Tuesday, April 01, 2014. Photo Kevin Farmer / The Chronicle
George Helon is concerned about subsidence of grave sites at Drayton and Toowoomba Cemetery after heavy rainfall events, Tuesday, April 01, 2014. Photo Kevin Farmer / The Chronicle Kevin Farmer

HEAVY rain and flooding has caused serious damage to the Drayton and Toowoomba Cemetery with sunken grave plots, broken headstones and erosion creating a confronting scene for visitors.

While work is being done to slowly repair the cemetery it is still a tough sight for relatives visiting the graves of loved ones.

According to Toowoomba's George Helon it is an issue which has plagued the cemetery for some time and he insists the Toowoomba Regional Council needs to take immediate action.

"This happens any time there is significant rain in the region," Mr Helon said.

"Water flows off Anzac Avenue and down the lawn cemetery which is what causes the damage.

"This happens far too regularly for nothing to have been done about it."

A sinking grave at the Toowoomba and Drayton Cemetery.
A sinking grave at the Toowoomba and Drayton Cemetery.

Mr Helon said the sight of sunken graves and damaged headstones was "disturbing".

"I wouldn't let my mother visit dad's plot in this condition," he said.

"It is also a risk to anyone visiting. Who knows when any of the plots could cave in?

"There is only one council staff member pushing soil over the top of the holes but it isn't enough."

Improved drainage near the cemetery is something Mr Helon believes should be a priority for council.

"Not enough is being done to fix this issue," he said.

"Cemeteries are an emotional place and relatives should not have to see the grave sites of loved ones in such poor condition."

A Toowoomba Regional Council spokesman said work on repairing the damage at the cemetery has been under way since Monday.

Council would look to complete the repairs as soon as possible to limit distress to visitors.


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