Launceston meeting to discuss natural burial grounds

ALL NATURAL: A bushland burial site in Southern Tasmania. The possibility of a natural burial sites in Tasmania's north will be discussed at a meeting on Thursday night.

ALL NATURAL: A bushland burial site in Southern Tasmania. The possibility of a natural burial sites in Tasmania's north will be discussed at a meeting on Thursday night.

The possibility of natural burial sites in Tasmania’s North will be discussed in a meeting at the Gunner’s Arms Hotel on Thursday, May 18.

Using a biodegradable coffin or shroud, natural burial sites involve burying a person in a relatively shallow grave, allowing the body to return back to the earth naturally with minimal disturbance to the environment.

A bushland burial site already operates in Kingston, using coffins which are made of solid, untreated timber.  

Burnie City Council has also agreed to consider including natural burial sites into its cemetery strategy.

Co-creator of the newly-formed Natural Burial Sites for Northern Tasmania group, Malcolm Cowan, said the main purpose of Thursday’s meeting is to gauge interest within the community. 

“We’re trying to decide the level of interest before we approach councils with a genuine bid,” he said.

“Our group intends to discuss appropriate sites with the City of Launceston and Tasmanian Land Conservancy, either at an urban burial site, or a rural conservancy setting.

“We are investigating the regulatory requirements for handling and burial of bodies, and we believe that the restrictions for natural burial are relatively minimal. 

“Funeral directors can manage the movement and handling of bodies and the statuary burial requirements can be met with appropriate applications.”

The meeting will start at the 7.30pm on Thursday, May 18.

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