Sue Lawrence and her daughter Chelsea Parkin are distraught by the treatment council has shown towards them regarding Sue’s mother’s memorial at Sharky’s Beach, Burnett Heads.
Sue Lawrence and her daughter Chelsea Parkin are distraught by the treatment council has shown towards them regarding Sue’s mother’s memorial at Sharky’s Beach, Burnett Heads.

Daughter wants mum's memorial back

A MEMORIAL under a tree was the only place Sue Lawrence could go to remember her mother, Valerie Floate, who died in April 2009.

Now the Burnett Heads woman has no place to mourn her mother, after the memorial was taken down by Bundaberg Regional Council in September.

“They took everything away and it was just like she had died all over again,” she said.

The small memorial was under a tree on Sharky's Beach and included two crosses with dove stickers on them, two wreaths, a bottle of wine and two glasses.

Ms Lawrence said she was unaware she needed to apply to have the tree as a memorial when she put it up.

“Why didn't they tell me that they couldn't have a memorial there?

“Why did they just take my stuff?” she said.

Ms Lawrence said she thought council would have easily identified the owner of the memorial by the names and dates on the crosses.

“The people who live near the beach saw council workers taking the stuff and told them that they knew who it belonged to,” she said.

But the council workers did not give the memorial's contents to the neighbours or try to contact Ms Lawrence.

“They didn't give anything back,” she said.

Ms Lawrence said the family could not afford a headstone and scattered her mother's ashes out to sea.

Bundaberg councillor Danny Rowleson said he had spoken with Ms Lawrence a number of times since the memorial was taken down.

“I have been looking to have a memorial chair built, but she didn't think it appropriate to use community money for that,” he said.

Cr Rowleson said the memorial had been taken down because council workers who maintained the area found it dangerous.

“The crosses were regarded as dangerous in that they might be used by children to climb the tree,” he said.

“Obviously in a public place it is dangerous to have wine and glasses.”

Cr Rowleson said no-one was contacted about the memorial because it was not known who owned it.



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