Simon Richardson and Max Dumais at Mullumbimby Cemetery.
Simon Richardson and Max Dumais at Mullumbimby Cemetery. Blainey Woodham

Aquamation could come to Byron

A NEW way to enter the afterlife could soon be available in Byron Shire.

It's Aquamation and unlike cremation, water is used to dispose of the body instead of fire.

This week Byron Shire will consider a proposal to create an Aquamation facility at the Mullumbimby Cemetery.

The facility would be built by Aquamation Industries. Byron Community Centre and the Natural Death Centre have expressed interest in managing it.

The Aquamator would be the only one in Australia.

The concept is acceptable within Buddhist and Hindu traditions and the Catholic Ethics Institute has said it is simply an accelerated natural process.

It removes the need for expensive coffins and eliminates the air pollution and energy consumption caused by cremation.

Aquamation consultant Max Dumais said the facility has clear environmental benefits.

Councillor Simon Richardson said there are pragmatic benefits.

"Our cemeteries are going to be close to capacity in around 10 years so this will lessen the demand and extend their life," Cr Richardson said.

It's hoped the Aquamator could eventually fund a low cost funeral service to be operated by Byron Community Centre and the Natural Death Centre.

"Even though it's a sensitive topic we still need to be able to talk about it and allow people to engage with how they die," Cr Richardson said.

 

How it works

  • The body is placed in an organic body bag
  • It is loaded into a steel cage and inserted into the Aquamator
  • About six hours later the remains: bones, prosthetics and teeth can be removed
  • The bones are processed for return as ashes and the liquid residue is removed


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