The Cumberland Courier Newspapers reported today that the tide has turned on a proposal to expand Botany Cemetery after the Chinese Market Gardens were listed on a national heritage register. A shortage of space in Sydney's east 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 market gardens, a 7ha slice of crown land.

Memorial park CEO George Passas has said if no extra burial plots were made available, people opposed to cremation would be forced to look elsewhere for their final resting place within 12 years, when the cemetery reaches capacity.

The religious community has come out in support of the proposal and a study into the market gardens commissioned by the memorial park has found levels of heavy metals in the water used to irrigate the vegetables, which were later found to be acceptable.

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