Welcome to the site where the
Cassilis Recreation Reserve Committee
of Management

and the
Cassilis Cemetery Trust
put to invited parties the issues
which are facing us with regard to road access
and alignment of  boundaries.
Some background facts are essential,

The Cemetery had its first burial in 1870 while the Rec Reserve
was created in 1896. The Cemetery  serviced the Cassilis,
Tongio West and Swifts Creek townships. Although Swifts
Creek has an area set aside for a Cemetery it has never been used.
There are about 200 persons buried at Cassilis, we have records
of them but the layout and location information was lost by then
trustees, the Shire of Omeo.
The Rec Reserve is actually named the Jirnkee Reserve after
the Parish of Jirnkee, reflecting the usage by an larger area than just Cassilis.What was possibly the first event (left) was called
'Long Gully Sports Day". Long Gully is the gully that contains
Swifts Creek, Tongio West and Cassilis.

The period 1994- 96 was one in which the majority of residents of
Cassilis formed a loose grouping which is generally referred to as
Cassilis Residents Group. The impetus for the formation was the
discovery that the developer L Love was working to acquire the Rec reserve land to include in a proposed subdivision. The default managers
of both reserves had for many years been the Shire of Omeo which
itself was about to be included in the new East Gippsland Shire.
The group opposed the subdivision and reformed the Rec Reserve committee along with the Cemetery Trust with the full support of the
Shire of Omeo and subsequently, East Gippsland Shire.   

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal came to the area and held hearings for 2 days during which  the Reserves area was visited and assessed (along with a number of other areas being subdivided by this developer at that time). The Shire paid for the boundaries to be surveyed.
They were found to be correct. The tribunal allowed
the subdivision subject to about 40 conditions which
included the Cemetery boundary being extended 15 metres along its boundary with the Govt road reserve
(which has never been formed or used).
This happened because the Trust was able to advise
the Tribunal of the existence of at least one and possibly more graves on the road reserve. The final plan agreed to by the developer stipulated that the formed road for the subdivision would run from the corner of the Rec Reserve to the far corner boundary of the Cemetery.
The triangle of land left was to be included in the developers landscaping plan (also a condition) with allowance for access to the car parking area between
the reserves.

Memorial area (govt road) roughly shown in red.
Within a couple of years of the granting of the subdivision the Cemetery Trust and the Rec Reserve Committee had fenced both Reserves.
In the case of the Cemetery this included the 15 metres along the road reserve. This area has since been established as a memorial area for new memorials. The Cemetery was closed for burials in 2000 due to the complications of current rules and standards, few volunteers and limited demand. The new memorials involve no internments but in almost all
cases involve the scattering of ashes by family. The road reserve area
was chosen for them by the Trustees as the Cemetery proper layout is
not exactly known. The graves which caused the road reserve to be included in the Cemetery are apparent but plenty of space is left to
establish the memorial area. The unknown layout within the
Cemetery proper has come about not
only because of the loss of the original information but because the Cemetery was bulldozed and largely destroyed, circa 1959.
The criminal damage was halted by the Shire of Omeo by injunction
but after most of the graves were destroyed. The Trust has resolved
that listed burials can have new memorials placed by families in the Cemetery proper but  new memorials must be in the road reserve
area (excluding the known grave area of course)
The section of the unformed Govt road that runs at right angles to
the Rec Reserve contains Box trees that are unique in that they are
un coppiced and about the only remaining example of what populated
the valley floor prior to European activity. As such they have been
fenced to be a part of the Rec Reserve and it is proposed that they
form part of an arboretum.
The developer accepted the conditions as laid down
by the Tribunal in 1996 and the Trusts have acted in good faith but the developer allowed the subdivision
to lapse and reapplied in 2004?. The residents did oppose the application again and attended a
consultation hearing held by East Gippsland Shire.
It would be fair to say that the group was weary
of trying to see common sense prevail and did not
pursue the matter to the extent they had in the 1990's.
It was disappointing to see councilors obvious bias towards approving any new development regardless
of the views of any opposing view and the actions
and words of more than one were simply wrong.
The subdivision was again granted, this time without
all of the conditions which had been arrived at
previously. It is apparent that this was the aim of
the developer all along.

The June 2nd letter referred to at right along with the accompanying map, click here
The Two Reserves have been improved by the
residents and are really lovely places to visit.
The fencing of both has allowed the stopping of the decades of over grazing. The Shire has recently
surfaced the access road. The Rec Reserve committee Secretary has been communicating with DSE about removing the cockies gates which the developer
placed across the access road at two points some
years ago. The developer is not a friend to either
Reserve and makes as much a nuisance of himself
as possible.
This extends to his use of the access road for grazing. We have no problem with this except that the
cocky's gates make access awkward and in many
cases deter visitors altogether. The Rec Reserves
efforts to have the grazing right removed  to improve access have brought a variety of responses from
DSE which are of concern because they consist of
offers to fence the developers subdivision for him
along with interpretations of  the different status of
fenced and unfenced road reserves. We dont doubt
the good intentions of DSE in resolving our issues
but are confused by the apparent determination to
spend public money fencing a subdivision for a
private developer.
The developer engaged the Cemetery Secretary in conversation during 2006 at which time he clearly threatened to damage or destroy the Cemetery fence during roadworks for the subdivision because he did
not recognize the 15 metres granted by the original subdivision hearing. 

This map provided recently by DSE. We have added red wording.

The trees to left are in rec reserve. Those on right
are on road reserve as per point 4
The two Reserve Committees have the following problems which need
to be resolved. This information is being provided so that each authority
that is involved will be able to see the whole story and the various issues.
We are asking you all to please cooperate to settle the issues.
We are advising DSE, East Gippsland Shire, DHS and C Ingrams office
of the problems and of this site.
We ask that:

1. there be no gates along the access road
2. the Cemetery boundary be officially altered to include the 15
    metres of the road reserve.
3. clearly indicate to the developer that the access road will be
    from corner to corner as per the original determination.
    Clearly determine the resulting triangular "tree reserve".
4. include the Box trees as described in the Rec Reserve.
    Consider including the box trees outside the area already
    fenced but which are along the road reserve and most likely
    will be lost when road is sealed. See left and below.

Thanks for your time,
the Rec Reserve secretary can be contacted at
while the Cemetery Trust Secretary can be found at

We would be pleased to provide any other images
as requested and put them online.