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UPDATED: One funeral daily at Orange Botanic Gardens, but not on weekends - council seeks comment

The funeral for former deputy mayor Glenn Taylor. Copyright: Orange News Examiner.

UPDATED 17/03/22:

A maximum of one funeral a day on weekdays only has been proposed to be allowed at the Orange Botanic Gardens.

Orange City Council will put its plans to allow full funerals at the gardens on exhibition for 28 days to seek public comments and submissions.

The proposal would allow funerals to be held inside the Clover Hill function centre and outdoors in the Lawn Area of the Native Garden display.

At Tuesday night’s meeting councillors said appropriate signage would need to be in place and the services would only be conducted by recognised funeral directors.

Councillors’ concerns included the impact of seeing funerals on children and visitors.

They did not support funerals being held at the gardens on weekends.

Original story below.

By David Fitzsimons

A family has been refused permission to hold a funeral at the Orange Botanic Gardens.

Deputy mayor Gerald Power said the family of Jeremy Reid asked council to hold his funeral at the gardens but “was refused in line with the operational policy that is currently in place".

Earlier this year a funeral was held at the gardens for long-time councillor and former deputy mayor Glenn Taylor.

Power is calling on council to change the policy.

He will ask Tuesday night’s meeting to “permit funerals, including the presence of a coffin” at the gardens.

A site within the lawn area of the native garden display has been proposed for funerals.

Power’s motion recommends a hiring fee of $300.

A director’s report to the council meeting includes an apology to Mr Reid’s family.

“I recognise the distress experienced by the Reid family caused by the refusal of their request for a funeral service to recognise the life of Jeremy Reid and that this distress was exacerbated by the funeral that was recently conducted,” the director’s report says.

“I apologise for the distress and anguish that was caused.

“The current policy was implemented following complaints received from the public regarding coffins being in a public place and [unexpectedly] 'coming across' a funeral when utilising the Orange Botanic Gardens."

The report said the current policy was consistent with other regional cities, except for Wagga Wagga, "whose policy positions do not permit funerals with coffins present or at all in some cases".

“However due to the increasing demand to conduct funeral services in outdoor settings it is recommended that council should have an option available to the public for this purpose within a controlled area and with appropriate signage.”

The director's report said the proposed area for funerals was the same spot where Mr Taylor’s funeral was conducted.

It said additional maintenance was required to prepare for a funeral service, plus there were administration costs to manage and control bookings, and therefore the fee should be levied.


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