For David Rutland and his wife Leanne, who have a child and Leanne's parents and brother buried at the cemetery, the thought of removing personal items from the graves of their loved ones is like “a kick in the guts”.
“(The cemetery) is somewhere for the kids to go and visit their little brother and put flowers and toys on his grave,” Mr Rutland said.
“It is part of the grieving process.
“I would like to take my kids into council and ask them to explain why they can’t leave things for their little brother because they don’t understand.”
On more or less the same topic, news from the other side of the Back of Beyond has it that the public has until July 21 to lodge a view on whether the Metropolitan Cemeteries Board should ban artificial flowers from grave and memorial sites at Pinnaroo Valley Memorial Park in Padbury. A board decision on this and other issues rests on findings from a discussion paper out for public comment for two more weeks, and already completed in-depth interviews with families and two community surveys.
The board is reviewing its 1986 flower and ornament policy for all cemetery sites and the discussion paper is the final stage of a comprehensive community consultation process.
The paper considers whether the MCB should allow artificial flowers at its cemeteries, particularly Pinnaroo, and if so, what conditions should apply.
Among other things, the board also wants to know if people consider Pinnaroo a bushland memorial park or “just another cemetery” and if the amount of rubbish (such as flower wrappings) within cemeteries is a concern.