Cessnock City Council rejects disturbing cemeteries regulation

Filed under Council, Government, News, Society & People ~ by Press on  16 Dec 2018

Death, taxes… and grave rentals?

Cessnock City Council makes its stance known on the NSW Government’s decision that allows cemeteries to reuse grave sites just 25 years after the burial. The message was clear, this won’t be happening in the Cessnock Local Government Area.

Pictured ~ Cessnock City Mayor, Councillor Bob Pynsent, who opposes grave site rental scheme

Changes introduced in June under the Cemetery and Crematoria Regulation 2018 enables cemetery operators to introduce a system that allows graves to be rented for a period of 25 years to 99 years for people who cannot afford a permeant site.

If a relative of the deceased person is unable to continue the fees, there is a possibility the head stone and the human remains will be removed. The plot can then be put up for sale.

The changes attracted wide-spread criticism from community members, Church groups and the NSW Aboriginal Council.

At the last Council meeting for 2018, Council decided the renewable internment rights will not be offered at the 10 cemeteries operated by Council.

Cessnock City Mayor, Councillor Bob Pynsent said this is not an option in Cessnock and won’t be.

It was great to get strong support for the Mayoral Minute. I was compelled to take action on this matter after hearing and sharing the concerns of many locals.”

Our community is home to many families who have been here for generations. Everyone deserves a place to be laid to rest and a place for their loved ones to visit them. One of the most concerning aspects of the changes is that it may create two classes of burial rights in NSW that would see some unable to afford a plot for more than 25 years.”

Council will write the NSW Government advising that Council opposes the changes that allow for the reuse of burial plots and urging the NSW Government to urgently look for alternate solutions to address the need for more burial space.

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