Burial-plot fee soars to $600

Central and North Burnett Times - - FRONT PAGE -

RE­SERV­ING a burial plot next to your loved one is now more ex­pen­sive.

Coun­cil­lors were di­vided over in­creas­ing the cost, but a new price of $600, up from $160, passed in the coun­cil meet­ing this week.

Cr Faye Whelan said she was con­cerned about the hefty fi­nan­cial bur­den for low-in­come fam­i­lies, at a time when they had just lost a fam­ily mem­ber.

RE­SERV­ING a burial plot next to loved ones has be­come a whole lot more ex­pen­sive for North Bur­nett res­i­dents.

North Bur­nett Re­gional Coun­cil 2014/15 budget has brought with it a leap in the burial reser­va­tion fee from $160 to $600.

“I am dead-set against this, $600 is over-the-top too much,” Mun­dub­bera coun­cil­lor Faye Whelan said.

But Coun­cil­lor Paul Lobegeier said the fee should re­flect the cost of the ser­vice, and $600 came much closer to do­ing so.

“It is an op­tion, if res­i­dents want to re­serve a plot this cost should fall on them and not ratepay­ers,” he said.

The new $600 fee is far from the $1400 cost for the ser­vice on the Fraser Coast and the $1500 those in Bund­aberg must cough up.

But Cr Whelan was con­cerned with the fi­nan­cial bur­den for low-in­come fam­i­lies, at a time when they had just lost a loved one.

“When grandpa dies, grandma will have to re­serve the plot next to him or else some­one else could be buried there at any time,” Cr Whelan said.

“I don’t think this is a cost we can slam on people at the time of burial, they have a lot of other ex­penses at that time.”

Cr Whelan moved to amend the reg­u­la­tory charge to raise it to $300 in­stead.

But Cr Lobegeier, Cr Wendt, Cr Dowling and Mayor Don Waugh voted against it.

The new fee will come into ef­fect with this budget in all ceme­ter­ies in the North Bur­nett.

PHOTO: SHIRLEY WAY

IN LOV­ING MEM­ORY: The cost of re­serv­ing a burial plot will in­crease in the North Bur­nett.

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