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Burial trend putting pressure on cemeteries

THE growing obsession with ancestral searches has led to an upswing in Brisbane locals wanting to be buried alongside their deceased relatives in the city's oldest cemeteries.

The Courier-Mail can reveal the availability of cemetery land has been identified as a challenge in the council's most recent annual report, despite the administration insisting there was about 40 years' supply in the city's remaining graveyards.

While there are 12 cemeteries across the city, nine of the council's oldest - including at South Brisbane, Lutwyche and Balmoral - remain mostly closed, with very few plots available.

The year's annual report has also revealed that the popularity of ancestral searches is behind a growing trend of Brisbane residents who want to be buried close to their relatives at the iconic Toowong cemetery, placing added pressure on one of the oldest cemeteries in the city that has largely been closed to new burials since the 1970s.

"Council continues to receive inquiries regarding the availability of land in Toowong in order for family to be buried together," the report says.

"The demand for burials at council's historic cemeteries appears to be on the rise due to the community's increasing interest in ancestry searches."

While the council was unable to confirm the number of inquiries, figures obtained by The Courier-Mail reveal Toowong cemetery has only accepted 206 bookings in the past four years.

Brisbane City Council community and lifestyle committee chairman Peter Matic said the council did not currently have plans to open a new cemetery, adding that 40 years of supply had been identified.

This was despite this year's annual report pointing out that the availability of cemetery land for burial and memorialisation was a "key issue".

 

Peter Matic said the council did not currently have plans to open a new cemetery.
Peter Matic said the council did not currently have plans to open a new cemetery.

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