Fraser Coast residents will now be able to opt for a natural burial at the new Nikenbah Natural Cemetery.
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 this week, Fraser Coast Regional Council adopted an updated Cemeteries policy to include guidelines around Natural Burials.
Mayor George Seymour said the facility would be ready to accept burials in early 2023.
“This new burial option is a result of community requests,” he said.
“While natural burials were not an option previously, the updated policy now allows for the natural burial cemetery on the Fraser Coast.”
The Nikenbah location was identified as the most suitable option for the new cemetery due to soil composition and the natural vegetation at the rear of the site.
“While we are not yet selling plots at the facility, people can contact Council customer service to put their name down on a register of interest,” Cr Seymour said.
A natural burial must be prepared without chemical preservatives (that is, it must not be embalmed), and must be contained within a 100% biodegradable coffin, or shroud.
Coffins, caskets and fittings must be made of cardboard, wicker, seagrass, bamboo, sustainably grown, and untreated timber, or other materials that facilitate rapid biodegradability.
Shrouds must be made of natural fibres such as wool, silk, bamboo, hemp, linen or cotton.
Ashes must be contained in a 100% biodegradable container. Find location map here
This cemetery in Queensland adds to the natural burial grounds in South Australia, Adelaide in particular.
The Wirra Wonga site at Enfield and the Pilya Yarta site at Smithfield. None of these are what the Green Burial Council would describe as genuine examples of natural burial, but they are a couple of examples of the best on offer. We have some to go to match the examples found in the UK and the US, but they are a start and better than nothing.
More on the Wirra Wonga and Pilya Yarta burial grounds here.