The cremation oven at Gregson and Weight in Caloundra.
The cremation oven at Gregson and Weight in Caloundra. Patrick Woods

Residents fired up over Crematorium approval

BUDERIM residents were left fired up after Sunshine Coast Council gave its approval for a new crematorium at a Wises Rd funeral parlour.

Plenty packed the gallery at Nambour's council chambers yesterday to learn the fate of the controversial development application.

The proposed crematorium - set to be established within a funeral parlour - had been a cause of concern for a number of residents.

Uncertainty over the number of cremations that would occur as well as fears over surrounding air quality and odour were the most contentious points for some of the surrounding community.


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In letters sent to the council, a report from an air quality expert living nearby indicated potential for mercury to be deposited on the surrounding area 500% higher than acceptable rates it said was relied upon by the council.

The mercury released in cremation comes through the effects of the intense heat of dental fillings.

Forestwood Dr resident Mitch Lawrie said he believed the precautionary principle should have been applied to the proposal given the future crematorium's proximity to nearby sporting grounds, schools and homes.

Mr Lawrie said a petition taken around the neighbourhood and presented to the council had received about 90% of support for opposing the development.

"Principles of natural justice have not been observed in this process," Mr Lawrie said.

"The conditions were very vague," he said.


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Deputy Mayor Tim Dwyer pointed to what he felt were inconsistencies around safe levels of exposure to mercury and argued a funeral parlour was an appropriate place for a crematorium.

Mr Lawrie and others felt not enough had been done to establish the development was in the public interest, but believed they had a strong case for appealing to the court and residents now had to weigh this up.

Prior to the approval at yesterday's meeting a passionate presentation from Cr Ted Hungerford calling for the DA to be rejected was supported by councillors Jason O'Pray, Jenny McKay and Steve Robinson.

However the seven remaining councillors opted in favour of the application.

Cr Christian Dickson said he'd toured another Coast facility and said he understood the advanced technologies now used in the cremation process had improved safety of the process significantly.


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