Lisa Caldwell, director of business services at Cloncurry Council, said it was an emotional issue for many residents of the town in northwest Queensland.
“This is a very sensitive area and we have to make sure that everything we do there is respectful of it,” she said.
“It is an important place for people, and it is the last resting place for their family members.”
The board has consulted with the community on possible solutions to the problem and some ideas will be discussed at the regular board meeting next week.
Ms. Caldwell says the missing letters are caused by several factors.
“The high mineral content (of the borehole water) somehow destroys the plates, it settles in the letters and then they become unreadable and because they are flat and the water does not flow – it stays on the plate – and that causes problems, ”she said.
She says using rainwater is not a viable option in the drought-stricken city.
“Because there is such a large amount of lawn, keeping it green would require a lot of water and the community is concerned about water conservation here, so borehole water is our best option,” a- she declared.
The Council is also addressing a second problem with the cemetery. Most of the larger angular plates sink because they are placed on top of the graves, which are uncompacted earth.
Council has allocated $ 125,000 in its budget for this fiscal year to fund a project to address both issues.
Ms Caldwell inspected the cemeteries at Charters Towers, Longreach and Barcaldine for possible solutions.