GOV­ERN­MENT DE­STROY­ING FAM­I­LIES’ MEM­O­RIES

Comment News (Armadale) - - Opinion - SU­SAN BLUNDEN, Can­ning Vale

SINCE 1899, WA fam­i­lies have bought grave sites at Kar­rakatta for their loved ones and erected memo­ri­als, ex­pect­ing they would rest in peace and that their graves would be tended. None ex­pected those memo­ri­als would be bull­dozed. Most fam­i­lies prob­a­bly as­sumed they owned the sites. The 1986 Ceme­ter­ies Act con­verted all rights to a right of burial for 25 years and al­lows ar­bi­trary clear­ance of memo­ri­als, ap­par­ently still owned by the fam­i­lies. New buri­als are in­serted be­tween the old, leav­ing no marker on the ex­ist­ing grave. Peo­ple must tram­ple other peo­ple’s graves to visit their own fam­ily. A few memo­ri­als are placed in gar­dens or on walls (no record of lo­ca­tion).Most are de­stroyed - la­belled dam­aged, al­though of­ten no dam­age ap­pears in Ceme­ter­ies Board photographs. The Act calls this "rede­vel­op­ment", the board "re­newal". At the mo­ment re­mains are not touched, but the board has to­tal dis­cre­tion to ex­hume, cre­mate and dis­pose of re­mains. There is no need for this – three new ar­eas were des­ig­nated for ceme­ter­ies years ago. It dev­as­tates fam­i­lies to find noth­ing there when they visit. Stop this de­struc­tion - tell the State Gov­ern­ment to open the ceme­ter­ies planned decades ago and leave your fam­ily to rest in peace.

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