The Courier-Mail

Nothing to complain about here

- RHIAN DEUTROM

THE Press Council has dismissed complaints aimed at The Courier-Mail front page article “IT’S YOUR ABC” on June 24.

The council decided the digitally altered image of a black flag commonly used by the terrorist group ISIS, together with the ABC logo fairly reflected the tenor of comments by Prime Minister Tony Abbott, which are reported in the article, on the appearance of Zaky Mallah on the ABC program Q&A.

“While we acknowledg­e that people have been offended, given the context of comments by the Prime Minister, we do not consider it to be so substantia­lly offensive that a breach of the Council’s Standards of Practice has occurred,” the council’s director of complaints Paul Nangle wrote. FINAL requests now include cardboard coffins, shallow graves and GPS locations as people seek to reduce their environmen­tal footprint when they die.

Eco funerals are gaining traction as more people ditch timber caskets to consider the impact their body will have on the environmen­t.

Green burials involve returning the deceased back to the earth in a sustainabl­e and economic manner, often by using biodegrada­ble coffins made from cardboard, wicker or willow.

The deceased is then buried in a grave about 1m below the ground to speed up the decomposit­ion process and nourish the plants and soil. Those who chose an environmen­tally-friendly cremation can have their ashes in a biodegrada­ble urn which can be released at sea or scattered into a green cemetery.

Green Burial Council founder Joe Sehee said the practice was not new but the burial concept was innovative.

“This is a way of caring for the dead that doesn’t involve toxic chemicals, embalming, metal caskets or concrete burial bolts,” Mr Sehee said.

“It’s the way we did things for a long time, allowing one’s death to be returned to the living and facilitate ecological restoratio­n.”

Mr Sehee said people were also opting to be wrapped in a muslin shroud and buried with- out a coffin to be “closer to the elements”.

“For a long time Australian­s have followed the status quo and now the lid is being lifted and people realise they can do whatever they want,” Mr Sehee said.

While the cost of a traditiona­l plot or gravestone can exceed $4000 alone, an entire green funeral service could cost less than $5000.

Some eco-conscious people are even requesting to be buried upright to save space, with the country’s only vertical burial ground located in Victoria.

While Queensland may be a few years away from vertical burials, the state’s first green burial will take place at Alberton on Monday when a Brisbane woman is expected to be buried in a biodegrada­ble willow coffin.

 ??  ?? GOING GREEN: Tom Connolly from Newhaven Funerals with a ‘green’ wicker coffin. Picture: Adam Head
GOING GREEN: Tom Connolly from Newhaven Funerals with a ‘green’ wicker coffin. Picture: Adam Head
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