The ABC (AU) News site reported that the Whitsunday Regional Council in Queensland has voted to overturn a policy that banned fresh flowers on graveyards from a month after interment.

It comes just two weeks after the council faced criticism over a Facebook post telling residents about the policy, which also banned ornaments on graves and stipulated any artificial flowers must be placed in a vase purchased from council.

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Official letters were also sent to residents about the policy.

Mayor Andrew Willcox told a council meeting on Wednesday the policy had created angst in the community.

"I have apologised on many occasions for that," he said.

"We have to have a policy. It's not that we want to be difficult, we have to have a policy to keep cemeteries ... a nice environment."

The new policy, which was passed unanimously by councillors at the meeting, allows for real flowers, including wreaths, to be placed on graves after the first month of interment.

After the second month, flowers can only be placed on either side of the headstone or monument.

 

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Key points:

  • The Whitsunday Regional Council faced backlash from the community over a graveyard presentation policy
  • The policy limited the placement of fresh flowers, with residents instructed to remove excess items
  • After adopting new guidelines in an ordinary meeting, council says it has now struck a 'balance'

The Council's Cemetery Policy is here