Bodies ‘flooded’ at Queensland cemetery
RELATIVES of people buried at a southside cemetery say a practice in which graves are "flooded" with water soon after burial is disrespectful and must stop.
Doreen Awabdy, whose brother and father are buried at the Brisbane City Council-run Mt Gravatt Cemetery, said the practice, known as spiking, was "devastating".
"They take a hose with a spike on it, which they poke into the grave and they turn the tap full blast and flood it," Ms Awabdy said.
"Your family member is absolutely flooded and generally speaking, they're doing it days or hours after the burial."
The Southern Star asked the council to explain a photo of a hose going into a freshly dug grave and was told the cemetery's maintenance program was "best practice".
"Council uses the same practices adopted by many cemeteries around Australia and the world," a spokeswoman said.
"This can include dampening soil to prevent subsidence, however all maintenance is undertaken with the utmost respect."
Ms Awabdy said she and her mother were distraught when they found out her father and brother's graves were likely spiked.
"I freaked out, I flipped out … she (her mother) has not been able to visit pretty much since then," she said.
"Neither my dad or brother were swimmers, why would I put them in that situation?"
Ms Awabdy said her family bought into Mt Gravatt Cemetery to "give respect" to their loved ones.
"It's undermining what we do for some stranger to go up, flood the grave, and away we go," she said.
Earlier this year, family of war veterans buried raised concerns that upgrades to the ANZAC section of the cemetery had forced people to walk on graves to pay their respects.
Cr Steve Griffiths (Moorooka) said at first he did not believe the reports of spiking but they were so consistent he realised they were true.
"It sounded almost medieval … I think people of Brisbane will be shocked to learn about this," he said.
He said he understood there was an alternative practice but it was more expensive.
"It's just money-saving," he said, demanding the "archaic and disrespectful practice" stop immediately.