Nikenbah Cemetery proposed for natural burial site

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Natural burial

The first steps have been taken to identify and develop a natural burial site for the Fraser Coast.

A natural burial is a funeral that seeks to make as little impact upon the environment as possible and to return a body to the earth in as natural a way as possible.

At its meeting today (Wednesday, October 28), Fraser Coast Regional Council adopted a recommendation to list the development of a natural burial area at the Nikenbah Cemetery as an item for discussion in future budgets.

“This concept is in the very early stages, but this is an important first step,” Cr Paul Truscott said.

“Residents have for a number of years asked us about options to provide natural burials, most recently at Council’s Innovator Pitch Night in March.

“While natural burials were not an option then due to existing state legislation; changes in legislation have opened the possibility of a natural burial cemetery on the Fraser Coast.

“As a result of the changes Council investigated our existing cemeteries to find a suitable site that could be developed for future natural burials.

“While the Nikenbah, Tiaro and Munna Creek cemeteries were identified as potential sites, further assessment determined that the Nikenbah cemetery was the most suitable due to soil composition and the natural vegetation at the rear of the site.”

Council will now list the project as an item for discussion when developing future budgets.

“We will have to wait until funds are allocated to the project in a future budget before Council can start developing of a natural burial cemetery,” Cr Truscott said.

“Our initial estimates put the cost of establishing a natural burial area at $90,000.

“Once the facility is established, fees for burials would offset the cost of managing the facility in line with current cemetery operations.

“Developing the facility is about providing an environmentally-friendly alternative option.”

Additional background

A natural burial does not use embalming fluid or a traditional casket with the remains instead placed directly into the earth, allowing the body to decompose naturally.

The bodies of the deceased are buried in a biodegradable casket or a burial shroud, so long as they do not inhibit the decomposition of the body.