The Canberra Times reports Canberra's first publicly operated crematorium has been brought a step closer, welcome news for communities who haven't been able to properly say goodbye to loved ones. Construction began at Gungahlin Cemetery on Friday. It is among several projects fast-tracked due to coronavirus, and is expected to be completed by December.

The crematorium will meet the needs of several diverse communities after a government survey found one in 10 people didn't have their religious or cultural burial and cremations needs met in the city.

Chair of the ACT Cemeteries Authority Stephen Bartos said some cremation rituals required family to participate in a way they couldn't at Canberra's only other crematorium.

Gungahlin MLA Deepak-Raj Gupta said the facility was particularly important for Hindu, Sikh and Jain communities, who had not been able to properly say goodbye to loved ones.

City Services minister Chris Steel said discussions were being had about the potential for a crematorium at Southern Memorial Park.

The ACT had been the only state or territory without a publicly owned crematorium.

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