Bega Valley Shire Council is seeking community feedback on its draft Cemetery Strategy 2020-2030.
The draft strategy sets out how council will manage 14 cemeteries across the shire over the next 10 years in response to changing community needs.
Council's property and facilities co-ordinator, Rickee Marshall, said that cemeteries are an important touchstone of the community's identity.
"Cemeteries represent the final resting place for our loved ones, hold deep historical connections, provide important snapshots into the past, and connect families," Ms Marshall said.
"For example, Pambula cemetery is the final resting place of Syms Covington, whose role as Charles Darwin's servant and shooter played a pivotal role in the famous naturalist's theory of evolution.
"Maintaining this sense of community and family history in perpetuity is something we take very seriously, so it's important we develop a strategy that places equal emphasis on preserving stories from our past and adapting for the future.
"So far, we've consulted with local firm Kategic Strategic Solutions, plus industry and community stakeholders to help us develop the draft, and now we'd like to hear from the broader community.
"A key element of the strategy is a funding model to ensure our cemeteries are maintained to a high standard that fits with community expectations.
"Several funding models are considered in the draft cemetery strategy with option four endorsed by council. This model proposes the continued subsidisation of costs through council's general fund, with a modest 4 per cent increase in burial fees," Ms Marshall said.
To read and comment on the draft strategy, go to www.begavalley.nsw.gov.au/haveyoursay before Monday 22 February 2021.
Hard copies are also available at the Bega Council administration office and in all council libraries throughout the exhibition period.