I’ve written about the controversial issue of reusing of Australian graves in the past. Sadly, even in our large country this is not new.
It is a fact that cemeteries cost money to maintain, and that many are also filling up. So when leases expire, families are asked to pay to extend the lease or else the grave will be reused.
The group Saving Graves South Australia is on a mission to get the word out as far and wide as they can about the about the reusing of graves – in particular those of our Diggers from WW1 and WW2 which are also being reused – and in doing so they hope to get legislation changed.
To help with their cause, they have started a petition which says the following …
Leases are expiring on our Diggers’ graves and those graves will be reused if families don’t know about their expiry and/or cannot afford to renew leases. We need urgent action to prevent the graves from being reused. This affects soldiers who survived the war and returned home and later died from injuries unrelated to their military service, all others are protected by the Office of Australian War Graves. All South Australians whose grave or niche has an expired lease which has not been renewed after two years can have their site reused. This involves the ‘lift and deepen’ process whereby the human remains are excavated, placed in an ossuary, reburied deeper in the grave and a new burial is placed on top leaving no record of the earlier burial.
We need the support of as many people as possible to show the Government that we don’t want graves being reused in South Australia. Saving graves in South Australia is saving our heritage, culture and history. Cemeteries are sacred places where families can go to mourn and remember their loved ones as well as researching local and family history. What heritage are we leaving for future generations?
To sign their petition please go to:
And if you are on Facebook, you might like to join the following groups to keep up with the latest news:
Say NO to Reuse of Graves (South Australia)
Saving Graves South Australia
Saving Graves Victoria
Saving Graves New South Wales
A cemetery is not only a home for those that have died, it is a museum telling stories of a history, of a culture and showcasing glorious artefacts. – Saving Graves New South Wales