COUNCIL: Plan for park funerals gets council approval
HERVEY Bay's Botanic Gardens, Maryborough's Queens Park and Burrum Heads' Traviston Park are among 12 sites across the Fraser Coast where closed-casket funerals can now be held.
After a tense debate at yesterday's meeting, councillors voted 6-4 to approve a 12-month trial of funerals in selected parks across the region.
Councillors Denis Chapman, Stuart Taylor, Zane O'Keefe and James Hansen voted against the motion.
The proposal has been the subject of controversy since it was first outlined in April last year.
Under the current trial, funerals will be allowed in nine parks across the Fraser Coast should the council be approached by funeral directors.
Councillor Paul Truscott, who moved the original motion, said he didn't believe there would be a great uptake on the proposal but said it was about "making sure the option is there".
"The feedback that I've received is that it's great we've got the option there for people to choose," Cr Truscott said.
During the meeting, councillor Denis Chapman voiced his opposition to the motion, saying no-one from the community had come to him asking for permission to host a funeral in a park.
"I look at these reports and wonder how much money is going into this policy... when I don't feel there's a need for them," he said.
The trial will include:
- Traviston Park (northern section), Burrum Heads
- The Gables, Point Vernon
- Bush Chapel, Hervey Bay Botanic Gardens
- Wedding Chapel, Queens Park
- Elizabeth Park Rose Garden, Maryborough
- Original Maryborough Site (near the historic graves)
- Market Alley Poona
- Truscott Park, Maryborough
- Eckert Road Park, Boonooroo
The trial of closed casket funerals will start in July.