The Cemeteries Management Strategy was endorsed and adopted by Council at the Local Government Meeting on 28 July 2022. The Strategy was updated following community consultation during May and June 2022.
The Strategy will guide the planning, management and operation of Cassowary Coast Regional Council controlled cemeteries for the next ten years. The Strategy includes a number of recommendations such as the development policy, guidelines and factsheets, ensuring that graves and columbarium walls are constructed of materials more suited to our climate. Council will also investigate laser surveying to develop an online plot location and reservation map. />Innisfail Cemetery in the Cassowary Council LGA
Planning and Regional Development portfolio holder, Mayor Mark Nolan, thanked residents for their time contributing to the strategy during the consultation period.
“Whilst the strategy is specific to the operation and management of Local Government cemeteries including Innisfail, Tully, Cardwell, and Murrigal, during the consultation, feedback was also received regarding a potential burial site at Mission Beach and the possibility of a ‘green’ burial cemetery.
“In deciding whether to propose a cemetery or ‘green’ burial cemetery at Mission Beach as part of this strategy, Council Officers reviewed a number of key considerations including cemetery operations (i.e. ongoing maintenance), cost and capacity of existing cemeteries.
Councillor Nolan said upon analysing these factors, Council found that it was not feasible to establish a new cemetery at Mission Beach at this time.
“Council understands the significance of cemeteries to our community members and the costs associated when a loved one is lost. Council wants to keep charges to a minimum and as a result, it would not be feasible for Council to open another cemetery when there is capacity in existing cemeteries.
“As an alternative, Council may provide a designated area for the scattering of ashes and reflection in a local parkland at Mission Beach. However, if market trends show an increase in the need for greener burial options in the region, Council may consider a hybrid traditional and green burial option within its existing cemeteries.
Councillor Nolan said the private sector could establish a cemetery at Mission Beach if a suitable private freehold property could be found and appropriate development approvals obtained. Unlike the private sector that provides death care arrangements focusing on profits for stakeholders, Council carries out cemetery operations as a service to the local community.
“Other feedback received during the consultation phase included suggestions to improve the maintenance of the different cemeteries, which has been noted and shared with Council maintenance teams.
“The Strategy will ensure a consistent level of service is upheld to Council owned cemeteries to reflect the significance of these important facilities to our community.”
An updated draft Strategy will be available to view within the Local Government Meeting Agenda released here.