Natural burials: Council's first step towards no-casket site
DEPARTED loved ones could be laid to rest sans casket under a plan for a natural burial site on the Fraser Coast.
First steps were taken in Wednesday's council meeting where the Nikenbah Cemetery was identified as the proposed site.
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".
Bodies do not through the embalming process and are buried in biodegradable coverings which do not interfere with the natural decomposition process.
Cr Paul Truscott said while the concept was in the "very early stages", this was an important start.
"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," he said
"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."
The 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."