Cemetery approval leaves family at peace

AFTER a long and emotional battle to fulfil his wife's dying wish, Mullion Creek's Brendan Ostini finally achieved 'closure' yesterday.

Cabonne Council finally granted approval for a development application [DA] that will see a non-denominational cemetery erected adjacent to the Catholic church.

The application was deferred by council in May in order to ascertain the level of support within the community and the impact on underground water levels.

But after a report into the topic delivered positive news on both fronts, councillors voted 10-1 to approve the DA, which will now see the town receive its first cemetery.

"We're very happy," Mr Ostini said.

"It has been an emotional time. This cemetery is a win for all of Mullion Creek. Any locals of any religious denomination can now be buried in Mullion Creek.

"It was my wife's wish to be buried in Mullion Creek. Now I can lay my wife to rest and put the headstone on her grave. There will be no further stress to my family. We can have closure."

Vicki Ostini was buried at the site in August last year after a now-contested verbal agreement with council.

But the disagreement mattered little to the 50 Mullion Creek residents who showed up to support the town's bid at yesterday's meeting at Molong.

Cr Ron Fanning voted against the cemetery, citing inconsistencies in the report and the potential harmful impact on the neighbouring Mullion Creek Public School students.

"Ultimately it will close the school – I've got no doubt about that," he said, to a chorus of disapproval from cemetery supporters.

Local resident Janet Beaumont, who lives in one of four houses that front the cemetery, also spoke out against the site.

"I've lost both parents six months' apart. Every time I look out the window of my laundry at the cemetery I'm going to be reminded of that loss. The school is right next to it. Would you want one of your children or grandchildren to have to look at the cemetery?" she said.

Cr Wendy Pankhurst said death was a natural part of life and not something that should instil fear into children.

Mr Ostini said he planned to erect a hedge as a buffer between the school and the cemetery.

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