Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Echuca cemetery expert to advise government

A Kyabram man who sits on the board of Echuca cemetery trust will join industry experts from across the state to advise the Victorian Health Minister.

TRENT HORNEMAN February 19, 2014 4:34am

Kyabram man David Jones.

A local expert on cemeteries has been asked to help advise the Victorian Government.

After 15 years on the board of Echuca cemetery trust, Kyabram’s David Jones has been appointed to a ministerial advisory committee for cemeteries and crematoria.

He will join industry experts from throughout Victoria to provide advice to Health Minister David Davis.

Mr Jones has spent 45 years making monuments and 15 years helping manage Echuca’s cemetery and said he was keen to add a voice for regional and rural cemeteries.

Mr Jones said while space was an issue for all cemeteries, rural cemeteries had the added burden of maintaining active boards in declining populations.

He said he looked forward to the role.

‘‘I was approached to nominate and I thought to myself ‘why not’, so I put my hat in the ring and I was lucky enough to be chosen,’’ he said.

‘‘I am keen to put forward a rural and regional perspective.’’

Mr Jones said many rural cemeteries survived through the help of dedicated volunteers, but a more professional approach was needed.

‘‘In these areas, people who live close by are often on the cemetery trusts,’’ he said.

‘‘They take care of the place because they live close by and might have a slasher. They are keen to help out, but they might not focus on the legal requirements at all.

‘‘I would like to see a regional trust to oversee a number of cemeteries.

‘‘Whether a cemetery has one funeral a year or 1000, we can all look at ways to do things better.’’

Mr Jones said he had initial meetings with other committee members and they would meet monthly during the year.

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