Unwelcome visits at Albion Park Rail cemetery

Reports that nearby residents have set up picnic tables at Albion Park Rail cemetery and are using the land as an off-leash dog area have prompted a crackdown by Shellharbour City Council.

Council notices have been issued to some residents who neighbour the cemetery to remove personal property from the cemetery grounds.

A council site inspection verified that a number of items and structures had been placed along the eastern and southern boundaries of the cemetery including garden and waste materials.

Complaints have also been received that the grounds are being used as an off-leash dog area.

Shellharbour councillor Kellie Marsh said she had complained to the council on behalf of a member of the public whose mother and grandmother were buried in the cemetery.

"There are a number of homes that back on to the cemetery grounds that have been using that land as their own with picnic tables and chairs and gardens," Cr Marsh said.

"People have been seen using the cemetery after closing hours ... it is an enclosed cemetery and shouldn't happen; it is a place of respect and a place of reflecting.

"We have plenty of beautiful picnic grounds in our area that are more appropriate - this is causing a lot of stress to people who are visiting their loved ones."

Shellharbour Mayor Marianne Saliba said the council had received a number of complaints about activities occurring on the cemetery site.

"Cemeteries are a sacred place that require sensitive and respectful behaviour at all times," Cr Saliba said.

"People need to be considerate to the needs of those attending the cemetery to visit their late relatives and friends buried at this site," she said.

A council spokeswoman said the council had requested that items owned by residents in the cemetery grounds be removed or demolished and the ground returned to its original condition by December 9.

"Council is investigating ways to further secure the site," the spokeswoman said.

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