SYDNEY is running out of public burial space.

Experts estimate that in 40 years the city will have run out of public burial land unless something is done now.

Land and Property Management Authority general manager Graham Harding said current burial arrangements in a public cemetery last forever.

``There is discussion going on about sustainability of cemeteries,’’ he said.

``Sydney is such a multicultural city and all cultures and religions have their own strong views.’‘

Mr Harding said vertical plots could be an option but some communities don’t accept it.

Other options include identifying land for new cemeteries, family graves and cemetery renewals.

``It is a complex and sensitive issue that needs a decision made before space runs out,’’ he said.

Another suggestion is renewable tenure. This would solve the space issue and allow public cemeteries to continue operating well into the future.

Renewable tenure works by paying an initial fee that would last for 25 years.

After that, people would have the option to pay for another, say 25 years (no definite time period has been set).

If you opt out, the remains of your loved one would be given the lift-and-deepen treatment.

This process has been introduced in other states and involves placing the remains into a smaller box. The hole is deepened and the box buried so another burial can take place on top.

This not only solves the space issue but the revenue will allow public cemeteries that are full to avoid making extra payments for maintenance.

Source and full story: Mt. Druitt Standard