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Byron Shire
February 5, 2023

NBG’s not dead

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While I am bitterly disappointed that Byron Council have now ditched Valances Road as a Natural Burial Ground (NBG), I do understand the reasons. 

Still, our local group led by Di Hart, Mayor Michael Lyon and Cr Duncan Dey have not given up hope of finding another site in the Shire. One thing our group has is tenacity, fuelled by knowing that our community wants this to happen. 

As reported in last week’s Echo, Ballina Shire Council is now investigating the possibility of a Natural Burial Ground. This is fantastic news for the people of Ballina Shire and does not in any way detract from an NBG in Byron. Ultimately, we are creating nature reserves as cemeteries and every town could use an NBG, not just every shire. So, good on you Ballina! I must say you’ve got a bit to learn though, some of the reported comments from their councillors were a bit off the mark.  

Our local group has done a lot of work over the last couple of years, identifying legislation and best practice with NBGs, including GPS markers for burial sites instead of headstones.  We will share this information, and more, with Ballina and any other shire or town interested in providing environmental natural burial options, while we simultaneously continue to seek a solution for an NBG in Byron Shire.

Jeannette Martin, Mullumbimby

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