In November 2010 a combination of wombats undermining the foundations and an extreme weather event saw the collapse of a section of wall of the Unique De salis cemetery at Cuppacumbalong. Once reported this led to an 18 month delay including an extensive 12 month heritage assessment before repairs could begin. During this lengthy process the wall’s, unsupported, edges were still decaying. Slowly peeling off like an onion skin. In March this year after an article was published in the CT, and when asked by ABC 666 radio, the ACT Government set a repair start date of May.
When May came I was asked to a meeting at the cemetery by 4 TAMS employees where I was assured plans were complete, contractors engaged and work soon to begin. This seems now not to have been the case. It is now October and another 3 metres of wall has peeled off since June… My requests receive the monotonous reply of ‘soon’. The only way I can demonstrate to RA readers what is happening is with a short video I captured in November 2010 at the time of the event…
I’m pretty sure the initial damage, compared to now, would have been easier and less costly to repair. Any stone masons out there? Its a dry stone wall. I know RA is not notorious for supporting heritage issues and some might say leave it to fall down but surely a uniquely built 19th century cemetery in our backyard would be a nice thing to retain in as original condition as possible. This is an example of the last 4 months & 3 m of ‘peeling’. The orange mesh was my last reference point of collapse.
There has been no other comment or updates as to the projects progress by TAMS and my recent correspondence with the ‘project’ manager can only squeeze out a never ending ‘soon’. Soon seems to be by my layman’s reckoning to be measured at a ‘fall of wall rate’ of up to approx 1 metre per month. Of course I am now seen as a crank by the powers that be. I don’t think I am being unreasonable with a request for a start date.
For those who don’t know where the cemetery is start at the Tharwa Bridge BBQ area. Walk up river 400 m on the 100 year old, elm lined walking trail to the Cuppacumbalong Homestead then a further 400 m to the cemetery. (Junction of the Murrumbidgee and Gudgenby)