Plans to build a ‘bush’ cemetery in Symonston

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City Services Minister Chris Steel, left, with ACT Public Cemeteries Authority board chair Stephen Bartos at the site of the future cemetery.

CITY Services Minister Chris Steel today (April 14) announced plans to build a “bush cemetery” in Symonston to meet the growing demand for another cemetery in Canberra’s south. 

Set to be located on Mugga Lane, the development of Southern Memorial Park will take place over a four-stage master plan that will aim to accomodate Canberra’s growing population over the next 100 years.

Mr Steel said stage one of the master plan will include road access, preparation for future wetlands, car parking, landscaping and the first 2500 burial plots, and is set to be open within five years following the completion of detailed plans.

Future stages will see the development of a crematorium and a large memorial hall, as well as other facilities such as nature play areas for children, function halls, a cafe, mausoleum, outdoor chapel, and an administration building.

An artist’s impression of Southern Memorial Park. Photo: ACT government.

“The ACT government is consulting the community on a 100 year plan to provide cemetery and crematorium services to Canberra’s south side through the development of Southern Memorial Park,” said Mr Steel.

“We’ve got significant capacity out at Gungahlin Cemetery but we want to make sure south side is accommodated. We need to start work and stage one is key to that, and involves that consultation we’re undertaking now.”

The ACT currently has three cemeteries: Gungahlin Cemetery, Hall Cemetery, and Woden Cemetery, the latter of which is quickly reaching its capacity, according to Mr Steel.

“We want to meet the needs of our diverse community. Existing cemeteries in the ACT focus on garden cemetery plots and memorials, [but here] we’re looking at having a focus on natural burials in sync with the landscape of the site,” he said.

“The future site is very large. We wont need all that capacity right now which is why we are developing in stages over time.”

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  1. Just go the whole hog already and use the facility just down the road…. the tip. What an utterly horrendous choice of site for a cemetery.

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