Burial-plot fee soars to $600
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.
IN LOVING MEMORY: The cost of reserving a burial plot will increase in the North Burnett.