THE Metropolitan Cemeteries Board wants the public to help decide if it should ban artificial flowers from grave and memorial sites at Pinnaroo Valley Memorial Park in Padbury.

The emotive issue resulted in an outpouring of opinion both for and against when the board flagged the need for a flower and ornament policy review of all of its cemetery sites in mid-2009.

The board will tomorrow release a discussion paper formulated by a stakeholder reference group, which is open for public comment until July 21.

Marketing manager Andrew Fox said public feeling that the board was intent on banning plastic flowers was incorrect.

“It is about getting a policy that works for the here and now,” he said.

“Our policy has not been tested since 1986.

“We need to go out and retest in a top-to-toe community consultation exercise.”

Mr Fox said research indicated “relatively clearly” that people were comfortable with the policy as it stood and did not see artificial tributes as an issue.

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