The parish priest at St Spyridon Greek Orthodox Church in Kingsford and spokesman for Archbishop Stylianos, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in Australia, Father Steven Scoutas has become a voice for the concerns about diminishing burial space.
Father Steven, who blamed consecutive governments for failing to secure additional land for the cemetery during the past 30 years, said thousands of his parishioners had signed a petition on the issue.
“The Greek Orthodox Church has voiced serious concerns for many years about this acute shortage of burial spaces. Archbishop Stylianos, Primate of the Church in Australia, again raised the matter in 2006 with the State Government.
A shortage of space in Sydney’s east has led management of the Eastern Suburbs Memorial Park, which incorporates Botany cemetery, to submit a plan to the State Government to acquire 60 per cent of the adjacent heritage-listed market gardens, a 7ha slice of crown land off Bunnerong Rd in Matraville.
The submission has divided the community between those who would prefer to see the land remain with the living, the three families who cultivate the gardens, and those more concerned about the diminishing space to bury their loved ones.