South Brisbane Cemetery at Dutton Park. Photo: Michelle SmithWhen it comes to property, it’s all about location, location, location. The notion also applies for the departed.
Only about 100 burials take place each year in Brisbane’s “historical” cemeteries, where the only plots available have already been purchased or are family sites with space remaining.
There’s also a price tag to match the exclusivity of the historic cemeteries located at Brookfield, Toowong, Lutwyche, Nundah, Bald Hills, Cedar Creek, Moggill, South Brisbane and Balmoral.
According to Brisbane City Council’s 2015-16 fee schedule, a grave at one of these sites will set you back $5735.
However, it’s only about $3500 for a similar grave at the council’s operational cemeteries at Mt Gravatt, Hemmant and Pinnaroo.
“Calculating exact numbers of available grave sites at these locations is difficult due to many variables,” Brisbane City Council lifestyle chairwoman Cr Krista Adams said. “However, council believes it has another 40 years of burial capacity within these sites.”
Brisbane’s most expensive place to be laid to rest is in a “superior position” vault at Mt Gravatt Cemetery, where the price has been set at $32,125.
Funeral director fees are separate, potentially adding more than $10,000 to the bill.
Tony Hollands funeral director Lindsay Wilmott said Mt Gravatt was Brisbane’s most popular cemetery, and met the needs of different faiths and backgrounds.
“It has vacancies in its different sections. There’s monumental sections, lawns and there’s usually special places for returned services veterans,” Mr Wilmott said.
Mr Wilmott said about 40 per cent of people or their family members chose the cremation option due to the lower cost and because they felt less pressure for a traditional burial from a religious perspective.
Next financial year a cremation with no service for an adult will cost $560 at a council cemetery, but on a public holiday an extra $875 will be added.
The remains can be posted within Australia for $70 or overseas for $277.
If the ashes were to be scattered in a garden setting, the fee is $190. Burial fees for a person’s ashes in a memorial garden with a plaque can be as expensive as $3300.
Financial expert Olivia Maragna said funeral planning was a touchy subject people often avoided.
“It’s when they’ve retired or there’s a trigger like a health scare that can make them think about it,” she said.
“If you know you’re short of cash and don’t want to leave a burden on family members it’s a good idea to plan. Many people don’t want to put that burden or pressure on others to think about what they wanted.”
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