Residents eye option of natural burial

Michael TraillNarrogin Observer
Mr Paternoster said there are currently around 28 residents, informally discussing natural burials together in Narrogin.
Camera IconMr Paternoster said there are currently around 28 residents, informally discussing natural burials together in Narrogin.

There is a push in Narrogin for natural burials to be made available in the town’s cemetery.

Former Narrogin deputy mayor Arthur Paternoster is urging the Shire of Narrogin to look into providing the option locally.

“It’s a question of choice. The real benefit behind a natural burial is it is kind to the environment,” he said.

“Embalming fluids have got all sorts of chemicals in them, there’s chemicals in the coffin, this becomes part of the land, it never goes away.

“A natural burial gives the opportunity of saying, ‘I don’t want to buried in this way, I want to be buried in a way that’s not going to harm the environment’.”

In a natural burial, the body is returned to nature in a biodegradable coffin and materials made from natural fibres, often with head stones, but located in small bushland pockets bordered by traditional burial locations and memorial gardens.

“There is that element of cost as well,” Mr Paternoster said.

“I’m told that the cost of a traditional funeral, with all the extras, could be up to $10,000. With a natural burial it is between $2500 and $3000.” Mr Paternoster said there were currently about 28 residents informally discussing natural burials together in Narrogin.

“The proponents of natural burials are going to make a submission to council on the basis on inviting them to make budgetary arrangements, to set aside some money in the coming year, so they can investigate whether we can do it here,” he said.

Shire of Narrogin chief ex-ecutive Dale Stewart said although natural burials had been around for some time now, they were still not deemed mainstream.

“In the interim the Shire will continue to monitor requests for natural earth burials should they come forward, to gauge whether to investigate the demand for such a facility further,” he said.

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