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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Drysdale cemetery safe 'in perpetuity'

Catholic church, eastern cemetery, Drysdale
Geelong Cemeteries Trust CEO Darryl Thomas has stated that  the Trust has decided to retain its vacant land next to Drysdale cemetery, rather than sell it off.

Mr Thomas made the announcement at a public meeting in Drysdale on April 17, prompting spontaneous applause from the thirty local people who attended. The Drysdale & Clifton Springs Community Association had organised the meeting, following  months of speculation about the cemetery's future.

Mr. Thomas told the meeting that the Trust had considered selling the vacant land and using the proceeds to buy land elsewhere on the Bellarine Peninsula for a new cemetery to service the whole Peninsula. He pointed out that if the City of Greater Geelong rezoned the Trust's vacant Drysdale land as 'High density residential', it would be worth a lot of money. However, the Trust's proposal had generated significant local opposition. This led the Trust to abandon its proposal to sell off the land and, instead, to use it to expand the existing Drysdale cemetery.

Mr. Thomas also sought to calm any fears that any part of the (expanded) cemetery might face a 'change of use' in the future. Graves, he said, exist 'in perpetuity' and so a burial ground, once created, remains a burial ground forever.

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