A PROPOSED ban on scattering ashes in Vincent has been voted down by councillors (‘Scattered policy’, Voice, November 13 2021).
It’s currently allowable with permission from the council CEO, but staff recommended banning the practice altogether; “given the sensitive nature of the matter, the scattering of ashes may make some members of the general public uncomfortable or cause distress”.
The staff recommendation also said “scattering of ashes at Aboriginal sites or heritage places may be culturally insensitive and inappropriate”.
Councillors decided the ban wasn’t needed.
“It’s very important that we don’t clamp down where we don’t have a problem,” mayor Emma Cole said.
Cr Ross Ioppolo also noted a complete ban would prevent Aboriginal people from being able to have their ashes put to rest on country significant to them.
“We all recognise in the Welcome to Country that there’s Indigenous peoples who have a very special connection to the land and in those circumstances, absolutely I would expect that we would want to grant […] those types of requests.”
It’s currently very rare that anyone actually asks for approval, but councillors decided to keep the approval mechanism in place so there is some enforcement mechanism if ash-scattering suddenly reaches problematic proportions.
by DAVID BELL
Unless you shout it out aloud or the action looks obvious how can you stop anyone scattering ashes wherever and whenever they want. They may not be just human ashes either; they could be of a pet or an object that has special meaning. People even carry ashes around with them including in an urn for a special cricket series.