Group effort fixes access to cemetery
THE Mossman Gorge Community has been more effectively connected with its past, with the completion of an upgraded river crossing connecting it to the community cemetery nearby.
The causeway across a branch of the Mossman River to the cemetery was prone to becoming impassable due to rainfall, making funerals impossible because hearses couldn’t make the crossing, and also making visits to gravesites difficult for older members of the community.
The new causeway, built by the Douglas Shire Council using leftover materials from previous projects, has gone a long way to addressing these issues.
Chief executive of Bamanga Bubu Ngadimunku (BBN) Emma Burchill said the DSC had been immensely helpful with the project.
“Now because of that work its more accessible for the older people to get across there for when we have funerals,” said Ms Burchill.
The problem had been on the radar of Mayor Julia Leu.
“The access had been a huge problem as people and vehicles were getting stuck on the wrong side of the causeway, at a time of grief and bereavement,” she said.
Ms Burchill said the upgrades also benefited rangers from Jabalbina, who are working on preserving and documenting older gravesites.
“Their rangers go over there and they do a lot of documenting of the gravesites and clean up of the grave sites as well,” said Ms Burchill.
She explained that the previous crossing, which dropped down to the water level, wasn’t appropriate for the community or for the cemetery anymore.
“The old bridge had been there for years and years. It was just an old culvert and the water was starting to wear it away. So it had holes through it, and when it flooded there was no access to the cemetery at all.”
“There are huge benefits to the community, because a lot of people go down to visit the graves and they have a swim down there as well.”
Ms Burchill also said that Jabalbina had helped a lot with the crossing.
“Its good to acknowledge them supporting that cemetery and burying our people close to our community where it’s accessible, and people can go down and visit, and the bridge now has helped with that.”
Cane farmer Don Murday owns the land that the crossing is on, as well as the access road to the cemetery, and was part of negotiations to organise the new crossing. “Council has done a great job on the causeway. It’s likely to be a temporary fix but I think it’s permanent, the job was done so well,” said Mr Murday.
The Mossman River crossing after the repairs. Inset: Before the repairs