Queanbeyan's population is set to grow from around 42,000 to more than 55,000 over the next 15 years. With this growth comes pressure on infrastructure and services that are provided to the community.
One service that is nearing capacity is the Queanbeyan cemetery. Queanbeyan currently utilises the Lanyon Drive cemetery, however that is expected to reach capacity within the next five years.
Council has been aware of the need to expand these services and has been investigating potential sites across the region. The need for a new cemetery was first raised in Council’s 2009-13 Delivery Program and has been the subject of workshops with councillors in 2009 and 2015.
What's been done
Council resolved to enter into a contact to purchase land at 1187-1241 Old Cooma Rd. Prior to exchanging contracts, Council undertook some preliminary environmental and geotechnical investigations to gain an understanding of whether it was viable to proceed with the proposal. These investigations did not highlight any significant issues and the contracts were exchanged. While the preliminary investigations did not show any issues, a range of other studies and investigations will be required as the proposal proceeds.
Following the exchange of contracts in late April 2017, Council was able to inform residents of the purchase and the intention to progress plans for a memorial park.
Planning proposal prepared for the NSW Department of Planning.
Gateway Approval sought from the Minister for Planning to amend the Queanbeyan 2012 LEP.
Flora and Fauna study completed.
The following studies were completed and a summary report for the sites suitability for use as a cemetery/memorial park:
- Visual Amenity
- Aboriginal Due Diligence
10 October 2018
Council set out the framework for how the community engagement process for the project will proceed.
22 October 2018
On 22 October 2018 Council received a letter from the NSW Government Natural Resource Access Regulator concerning groundwater at the proposed memorial park. In order for Council to make an informed decision on the suitability of the site for use as a cemetery ‘the regulator’ has advised that Council requires further investigation of the baseline groundwater levels and groundwater quality for a minimum of 12 months to ensure there is sufficient depth in the water table.
The groundwater investigations are considered to be vital in ensuring that Council and the community are confident that there will be no contamination of groundwater as a result of a cemetery being located on any part of the proposed site. While this assessment is being undertaken, Council will proceed with a Social Impact Assessment of the proposed memorial park.
Social impact assessment survey completed and report prepared.
- All background studies and summary report will be placed out for consultation in 2020
- Submit proposal and all necessary studies as well as reporting on community engagement to the Department for Ministerial approval
- Develop concept designs – Further consultation
- Develop Business Plan
- Prepare Development Application – Further Consultation
- Submit DA to Regional Planning Panel – Further Consultation
There will be a number of consultation opportunities during the process. All consultation activities will be advertised via Council’s Your Voice QPRC engagement hub at http://yourvoice.qprc.nsw.gov.au/.