It’s what you could call a grave situation

What to do when the land required for burying our dead starts to run out. To put it frankly, what we mean of course, is the land that we’d like to allocate for the purpose of disposing of dead bodies. All other creatures when they die, for the most part are ‘buried’ on the surface. What the Tibetans refer to as air burial – where the creatures of the sky and the night are invited to consume the body parts and so the cycle of life continues on uninterrupted.

We have chosen to slow this process down by placing bodies under the ground, where it takes considerably longer for decomposition to be completed. And we’re tried to memorialise the site by setting it aside with headstones and land locked away from being available for any other purpose. It’s an unrealistic mental construct that can’t be perpetuated in the real ecological world.

So we have what we have, a situation where the land able to be set aside for cemeteries is running out. In this report from the Combined Pensioners and Superannuants Association (CPSA): NSW is running out of graves: review, (CPSA 17 March 2021), a spokesperson writes:

A REVIEW of the NSW Cemeteries and Crematoria Act 2013 has come up with recommendations for sweeping changes.

The review has tried to deal with three issues that beset the funeral industry: (1) shortage of burial land, (2) funeral price gauging, and (3) lack of industry oversight.

You could say that issue (3) is the root cause of issues (1) and (2).

The shortage of burial land in NSW is caused by the very optimistic assumption we could, in perpetuity, keep burying people in perpetual graves without getting to the point where there would be no land left for graves, in particular in Sydney and other urban areas.

Calling it a shortage is a bit misleading, because we’ve actually run out.

The review recommends the following to resolve this shortage:

The NSW Government immediately acquires land for new cemeteries and crematoria in Sydney.

The review also recommends that old cemeteries, provided they’re not full, can continue to offer perpetual tenure burials.

And the review also recommends that Cemeteries and Crematoria NSW (CCNSW) becomes a real regulator for the funeral industry as a whole, not just for the cemetery and crematorium parts of it.

Read the full story at this link: NSW is running out of grave sites

And the report is here: Cemeteries and Crematoria NSW

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