18 March 2021

Publicly operated crematorium in Gungahlin to meet needs of growing city

| Michael Weaver
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Burial plot and rose garden at Gungahlin Cemetery.

Canberra’s second crematorium has opened at Gungahlin Cemetery. Photo: Supplied.

Canberra now has a second crematorium that meets the religious and cultural needs of the ACT’s growing population. The capital’s first publicly operated crematorium opened in Gungahlin on Monday, 15 March.

A 2018 review of cemeteries and crematoria found one in 10 people who have a religious or cultural need for burial or cremation did not have this service available to them in Canberra.

Previously, there was only one crematorium, in Mitchell, for a city of more than 425,000 people.

ACT Minister for Transport and City Services Chris Steel and ACT Minister for Multicultural Affairs Tara Cheyne formally opened the Territory’s new crematorium at Gungahlin Cemetery.

“This is the ACT’s second crematorium and first publicly operated crematorium facility to help meet the needs of our growing and diverse community,” said Minister Steel.

“We heard clearly from the consultation that Canberrans wanted access to a government-operated facility, and following testing and commissioning, we are pleased this new facility is now open.

The ACT Government will consider building another publicly operated crematorium as part of the Southern Memorial Park site on Long Gully Road in south Canberra following consultation about the project during the coming months.

Woden Cemetery is fully subscribed for new burials, while the proposed Southern Memorial Park would provide interment services for the next 100 years.

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Minister Cheyne said construction of the new facility at Gungahlin provides a cremator and cremation facility as well as viewing rooms that meet the cultural and religious needs of the diverse Canberra community.

The new crematorium means people no longer need to travel interstate.

“We have engaged closely with stakeholders, including faith groups in our community, to ensure the design of the crematorium meets not only its operational objectives but also the religious and cultural needs of our Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh and Jain communities,” said Minister Cheyne.

“I’m pleased that Canberrans will have access to the services they need here at home, rather than having to travel interstate because their needs were not being met or they had to wait too long for cremation services to be conducted.”

Pricing for the new crematorium services will be based on the pricing principles developed by the Independent Competition and Regulatory Commission, and the facility will be operated by the ACT Cemeteries and Crematoria Authority.

Original Article published by Michael Weaver on The RiotACT.

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