A member of the city's Sikh community has said a crematorium in Griffith would help ease travelling issues when saying farewell to deceased members of the community.
The public submission period for comments on Griffith City Council's New Cemetery and Crematorium masterplan will close on July 31 and member of Griffith's Sikh community Ricky Chugha has joined calls from conveyancer Bill Lancaster to build a crematorium alongside the development of the city's new cemetery along Rifle Range Road.
A site for a potential crematorium has been provided in the first stage of the cemetery's development, but based on the plan a separate feasibility study should be made first regarding the crematorium.
Mr Chugha said the a crematorium has been sought for the city as it would allow religions following the custom of cremation to have a local place to fare-well bodies.
"When someone passes away they bring the body first to the Sikh temple and then they go through the prayers and then they drive down to Wagga [for cremation]," Mr Chugha said.
"Once they are finished with the crematorium process in Wagga they come back to the temple.
"It is quite involving in a process and driving to Wagga and coming back it pretty much takes the whole day."
Mr Chugha said the a crematorium has been sought locally for years, and with a new cemetery on the way and cremation overtaking burial as one of the most common ways of disposing of bodies, the time is right to build a crematorium.
"The cemetery is coming through and it is a big project [and] as council knows, the Sikh community is looking for a crematorium facility for a long time and I think it is a perfect opportunity now to have that done alongside it," Mr Chugha said.
"We've been waiting for so long, we can wait for a little while - as long as we know when this is going to happen - because at the moment we really don't know what is going to happen.
"Cremation is now the preferred way for the past five years and Griffith is quite a popular destination, and small towns like Hillston, Leeton, they can all utilise that facility ... it's just not the Sikh culture which would use this facility, there are other cultures which can utilise this facility."
Mr Chugha has also launched a petition seeking support for a crematorium to be constructed in the first stage of the new cemetery.
If you would like to provide feedback on the masterplan, you can do so by visiting the Griffith City Council website here.