Delphine Bell of Sadliers Crossing beside her twin sons gravesite. She is opposed to the idea of gravesite tenures.
Delphine Bell of Sadliers Crossing beside her twin sons gravesite. She is opposed to the idea of gravesite tenures. David Nielsen

Fury at bid to dig up the dead

GRAVES could be dug up and reused every 25-50 years under a plan being considered by the State Government – but some Ipswich residents aren’t impressed.

A government issues paper has floated the possibility of graves having 25-50 years tenures because suburban cemeteries are filling fast.

A greater number of people are projected to die in the coming decades due to population increases.

Tenure systems are currently used in South Australia and Western Australia, where once the tenure period has been reached, the family of the deceased has the option of renewing the site for a further fee.

If the offer is not taken up, the remains of the deceased are placed in an ossuary.

While the idea has been raised by the Brisbane City Council as a way to combat fast filling cemeteries, the Ipswich City Council has no such plans at this stage.

That was good news for Sadliers Crossing resident Delphine Bell, who was at the Ipswich General Cemetery yesterday visiting the grave of her two sons who died 50 years ago.

“I’ve lost them once, I wouldn’t want to lose them again,” she said.

“I think it’s a bad idea.”

Ipswich City Council’s Health and Regulation chair Andrew Antoniolli said he considered the idea to be inconsiderate and confirmed council was not considering the tenures.

“It can take many years to get over a death, and then to later get a reminder that another fee is due on the grave, I find that to be insensitive,” he said.

He said the Warrill Park Lawn Cemetery had up to 50 years worth of space for graves and that the increasing trend towards cremation would also be a factor.

Cr Antoniolli said outsourcing the control of the Warrill Park site from July 1 would see another crematorium built there, which would increase burial and cremation options available to families.

Family graves, where multiple generations of family members are buried in the one plot, have also been raised as a suggestion by the State Government.

Their report states that cremation is now more than twice as common as burials.



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