Funeral costs to cut burden

A PLANNED $556 increase in burial fees in Tweed cemeteries has been defended by Mayor Joan van Lieshout and Council general manager Mike Rayner as necessary to stop the dead being a burden on all ratepayers.

In a joint prepared statement following Monday's revelations in the Tweed Daily News that the fees would soar to $3928 if the new council draft budget is adopted, the two said the new fees were designed to cover substantial cemetery operational and ongoing costs.

The proposed fees will be approximately double that charged on the Gold Coast to the annoyance of local funeral directors, but Cr van Lieshout and Mr Rayner said the Gold Coast did not provide plaques in its costs.

Two years ago council administrators drastically increased Tweed burial fees, saying Gold Coasters were heading here to be buried.

The council's recreation services manager Stewart Brawley said the proposed fee structure represented the actual cost “to undertake a burial and maintain the site in perpetuity”.

“While maintenance in perpetuity has always been an expectation when purchasing a burial site, the fees have not reflected this,” he said.

The price rise would avoid “an increasing burden on ratepayers”.



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