A tender released for the design work of the first stage of the proposed new cemetery in Canberra’s south provides for 2500 burial plots in a lawn and native garden setting. 

RiotACT reports that despite increasing community calls for cheaper and more environmentally friendly services, there will not be any natural burial plots included in Stage 1 of the Southern Memorial Park (SMP) planned for a 76-hectare site on Long Gully Road.

Stage 1 will also include a 600-800 square metre cremation memorial garden to cater for about 100 memorials and their ashes, although a crematorium on the SMP site is not slated until a future stage to be determined.

SMP will be developed in four stages, spread across 25 years, to service the needs of people in southern Canberra and the wider ACT, now that Woden Cemetry is full.

The tender comes after public consultation in 2018 and a government announcement early last year that the SMP would proceed, although the consultation report has not yet been released.

City Services Minister Chris Steel said at the time that the SMP would provide interment services for the next 100 years and it was essential for the growing Canberra community to have a southside alternative to the Gungahlin Cemetery.

He said the site would also be designed to allow for a second crematorium for Canberra, but the government has since announced that it would this year build a public crematorium alongside the private Norwood Park facility at Mitchell.

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