Natural Burial Space Proposed for Goolwa following Hills Site Launch

June 21, 2024 9:36 am in by
A kangaroo at Goolwa Old Cemetery. Photo: Alexandrina Council.

There may soon be a place in the Fleurieu Peninsula for families to farewell loved ones in the most environmentally conscious way.

A natural burial site is being considered for vacant land surrounding the Old Goolwa Cemetery.

The proposal was put forward by the not-for-profit Natural Burial Ground Trust of Australia in partnership with the Nature Foundation. Alexandrina Council members voted at a meeting on Monday night to put the concept out for community consultation.

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It follows the opening of the Adelaide Hills Council’s natural burial site ‘Martungka’ at the Kersbrook Cemetery on 28 May.

Natural burials do not use chemicals in the process but instead biodegradable materials so that everything that’s buried can return to the earth naturally.

Kevin Hartley from the Natural Burial Ground Trust of Australia said the proposal gives people the opportunity to choose an authentic natural burial style that connects the death of an individual to the restoration of the planet.

“It’s a genuine return to the earth and a way for people to leave a living legacy for their families,” Kevin Hartley said in a statement.

Nature Foundation Deputy CEO Mark Ashley has told ARN’s Adam Connelly and Jennie Lenman that as well as helping to restore and revegetate the land, donations from each burial from the Australian Natural Burial Trust will go into other important environmental projects.

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“Donations associated with the Goolwa site, we’ll target them to a small reserve called Watchalunga, down the road from Goolwa on the Finniss River, and there’s a really significant species of bird down there called the Mount Lofty Ranges Southern Emu-wren. There’s 30 breeding pairs on that site and for over 10 years we’ve been planting vegetation to increase the population,” Mark Ashley said.

The project would be established at no cost to local ratepayers, transferring the ongoing site restoration and maintenance costs away from the Council.

Consultation via will close at 5pm on Friday 12 July.

Kersbrook Cemetery site in The Adelaide Hills