Ceme­ter­ies ben­e­fit

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Kaniva Lil­limur Ceme­tery Trust is one of many Wim­mera com­mu­nity groups to ben­e­fit from the Vic­to­rian Gov­ern­ment’s Drought Re­sponse Pack­age.

Crew mem­bers from Wim­mera Catch­ment Man­age­ment Au­thor­ity’s drought-em­ploy­ment pro­gram have com­pleted ma­jor im­prove­ments at Kaniva Lil­limur, Yar­rock and Min­i­may ceme­ter­ies, in­clud­ing new paved path­ways, tree clear­ing, prun­ing, fence re­pairs, new fenc­ing, weed con­trol and gen­eral main­te­nance.

Sue Hol­land from Kaniva Lil­limur Ceme­tery Trust said the work had im­proved the ceme­ter­ies sig­nif­i­cantly and was mak­ing a big dif­fer­ence to the many peo­ple who vis­ited.

“You’d be sur­prised at just how many peo­ple go to these ceme­ter­ies to visit loved ones,” she said.

“We’ve had so many peo­ple com­ment and com­pli­ment the work that’s been done. It’s so much eas­ier for peo­ple to get around and they have fixed some ar­eas that were quite dan­ger­ous in terms of be­ing trip­ping haz­ards.”

Ms Hol­land said ceme­ter­ies were of­ten for­got­ten places, par­tic­u­larly those out of town.

She said vol­un­teer com­mu­nity groups that looked af­ter ru­ral ceme­ter­ies were grow­ing smaller, and fund­ing for ma­jor work at ceme­ter­ies was scarce.

“It means so much to us to have these crew mem­bers do all this work at our ceme­ter­ies,” she said. “We would never have been able to take on such ma­jor projects our­selves. We are ex­tremely grate­ful for ev­ery­thing they have done, not only at the ceme­ter­ies but with all the other com­mu­nity projects they’ve been work­ing on.”

About 30 peo­ple are work­ing across the Wim­mera on com­mu­nity and en­vi­ron­men­tal projects as part of the drought-em­ploy­ment pro­gram, which is pro­vid­ing reg­u­lar in­come for farm­ers, farm work­ers and farm busi­nesses af­fected by drought.

Wim­mera Drought Em­ploy­ment Pro­gram crew co-or­di­na­tor Glenn Dixon said it was good to see so many com­mu­nity projects com­pleted through the pro­gram, which started in De­cem­ber.

“In our smaller re­gional com­mu­ni­ties, a lot of the vol­un­teers around town who do these projects are get­ting older, so they are lim­ited with the amount of work they are able to do,” he said.

“To have our crew mem­bers turn up and do ma­jor work such as paving, re­mov­ing large trees, fenc­ing and land­scap­ing means a lot to these com­mu­ni­ties. It’s a great pro­gram that’s help­ing sup­port peo­ple af­fected by drought as well as get much-needed work done across our re­gion.”

Crew mem­bers work in part­ner­ship with coun­cils, Land­care and com­mu­ni­ties.

The Wim­mera Drought Em­ploy­ment Pro­gram, funded through the Vic­to­rian Gov­ern­ment Drought Re­sponse Pack­age, has seven crews which will con­tinue work­ing un­til De­cem­ber.

DONE:

Drought-em­ploy­ment crews have paved paths at Kaniva Lil­limur Ceme­tery.

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