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Search for natural way to rest in peace

The Shire of Augusta-Margaret River will consider a part of the Karridale cemetery for residents wishing to practise natural burials.

A push by the local Death and Dying Matters group petitioned Shire officers for help planning for future natural and eco-conscious burials.

Members of the group addressed the council earlier this year to explain their wishes, with local workshops held to demystify death and the ageing process, and to look at alternatives to traditional burials which often rely on toxic chemicals and non-biodegradable materials.

Group spokeswoman Anita Haywood said she was pleased to reach a “very positive stage of negotiation” with the Shire.

“We liaise frequently and have discussed and visited several sites in the area and are now developing the infrastructure on the best option,” she told the Times. While a review of the local Cemetery Act was recently undertaken, Shire legal and governance manager Ian McLeod said it did not consider the natural burials request.

Instead, a portion of the Karridale cemetery reserve was under investigation as a separate measure.

“Setting aside land for natural burials is a cemetery planning issue,” he said. “(The) potential site is being investigated.”

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