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10 September, 2021

Natural Burial Options considered in Cairns

CAIRNS COUNCIL will look at the suitability of using existing cemeteries to integrate natural burials.

Natural burial refers to the interment of a body in a manner that does not inhibit decomposition and can include practices that help reduce the environmental impacts associated with traditional burials.

Unlike traditional cemeteries, which have headstones, monuments and other infrastructure, natural burial areas are generally in a natural environment and can also allow for the long-term reuse of the land as a park or nature reserve.

There are currently no areas designated for natural burials in Council’s five operational cemeteries – Cairns (Martyn St) Cemetery, Forest View Cemetery, Gordonvale Cemetery, Babinda Cemetery and Nelson Road Cemetery, which is also located in Babinda.

However, there is the potential to incorporate natural burials into some of these sites.

A designated natural burial area has been already incorporated into the draft Forest View Cemetery Masterplan, while areas at Cairns Cemetery and Nelson Road Cemetery have also been identified as potentially suitable for future natural burials.

While eco-friendly burials are increasing in popularity, the National President of the Australian Funeral Director Association John Scott recently estimated there had been only 50 natural burials in Australia since 2017.

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