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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 3 Hansard (26 February) . . Page.. 1098..


Legislation Act, pursuant to section 64—

ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act—Subordinate Laws, including explanatory statements—

ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal (Transitional Provisions) Regulation 2009—Subordinate Law SL2009-2 (LR, 29 January 2009).

ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal Regulation 2009—Subordinate Law SL2009-1 (LR, 29 January 2009).

Cemeteries and crematoria

Discussion of matter of public importance

MR SPEAKER: I have received letters from Ms Bresnan, Ms Burch, Mr Coe, Mrs Dunne, Mr Hanson, Ms Hunter, Ms Le Couteur, Ms Porter, Mr Seselja and Mr Smyth proposing that matters of public importance be submitted to the Assembly. In accordance with standing order 79, I have determined that the matter proposed by Ms Bresnan be submitted to the Assembly, namely:

The importance of investigating alternatives to cremation and standard cemeteries.

MS BRESNAN (Brindabella) (3.04): Mr Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to talk about a matter of great public importance—that is, the manner in which a person chooses to be put to rest, or the manner in which family and close friends choose to put that person to rest. Some may choose a coffin burial, some a cremation. Some may choose to have a site at which they can visit the memories; some may choose to scatter the ashes. When a loved one dies, it is a painful experience for those who are left behind, but there can be saving graces if they feel they are putting the loved one to rest in a manner that the person would have preferred. There is a good chance that each of you here has had to deal with these issues and can appreciate the need to say goodbye to a loved one in a manner that is meaningful, respectful and peaceful.

This MPI is timely, given that the government is proposing to build Canberra's third cemetery, to be located in Tuggeranong. The government has also proposed a crematorium for the site, Canberra's second. The choices available in Canberra for burial methods are limited. There is cremation, or standard burial in one of three cemeteries. These options originate from our strong cultural practices and relate often to our definition as a Western society. But as our culture and society changes and broadens, so too should the choices available to citizens for laying their loved ones to rest.

Today, in the more environmentally conscious 21st century, a strong cultural shift is occurring that has changed community attitudes. A growing number of Canberrans want to be laid to rest in a more natural, environmentally friendly way. Often these people want to minimise their ecological footprint and acknowledge their spiritual connectedness with the earth. There is a recognition that even after their death they will continue to have an impact on the environment from which they came, and there


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