The residents of a Queensland aged care facility have united in protest against plans to build a crematorium within 50 metres of their home.

Residents say the proposal to build a crematorium so close to an aged care facility is deeply insensitive. For those in the final years, and even days, of their life, to be confronted with views of a crematorium’s smoke stacks would be unimaginably painful and confronting – not to mention dangerous to their health.

Those fighting the planned crematorium spoke to The Today Show about their disappointment.

One resident, Robyn Tripp, said she thought the plan was “disgusting”.

“I’m very disappointed. I think to not take any notice of residents and to put something like this on their doorstep is absolutely disgusting,” she said.

Health issues raised

The proposed site of the crematorium is adjacent to Palm Lake Aged Care facility, and also close to Palm Lake Retirement Village, and could have serious health implications for frail and elderly residents.

Protesters said there are no studies to show the health impacts of having a crematorium, with “toxic emissions”, within 50 metres of an aged care facility, where people are living in frail health or even palliative care.

One said the crematorium could even contribute to earlier deaths.

However, according to Dr Jenny Fisher from the University of Wollongong’s Centre for Atmospheric Chemistry, emissions would be negligible.

Council did not notify nearby residents

The first residents heard of the proposal was was when someone saw the plans on Logan City Council’s website.

Residents were shocked to discover the proposal.

Logan City Council told HelloCare, “The site for the proposed crematorium in High Road at Bethania is in a Mixed Use Zone of the City of Logan Planning Scheme, which means it is Code Assessable under Council development rules. Code Assessable means the proposal meets all the benchmarks for that land zoning.”

Robyn said, “I understand it’s code accessible and I understand they don’t have to tell us, but I’m sure that anyone in our situation would be concerned with having a care facility backed onto a crematorium where those in their last days of life, who’ve done a lot for their community, will have to spend it looking out the window onto a crematorium.

“It’s absolutely horrendous,” she said.

Seeing the humorous side

The protestors do however see a humorous side to their efforts.

They have developed the hashtags #firedup and #burningissue to promote their message.

The protestors are encouraging those who wish to oppose the development to email Logan’s mayor at mayor@logan.qld.gov.au.

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