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Grieving family dealt a cemetery plot blow
Anita and Christopher Baig, daughter Lisa D'Silva and her children Jasmine and Taj, at the Guildford cemetery where they plan to rest. Picture: Sharon Smith/The West Australian

Anita Baig does not know when her time will come. But when it does she hopes to be surrounded by family.

When her father died in 1982, Mrs Baig and her siblings bought burial plots beside his grave at the Guildford Cemetery - they wanted the family to be together in their final resting place.

But when her mother died recently, Mrs Baig discovered that her 50-year contract for the burial plots would become null and void next month, 20 years before the original expiry date.

A 1986 review of the Cemeteries Act will see all 50 and 99-year burial grants expire on July 2, 2012.

It is believed tens of thousands of burial plot contracts across WA will expire.

But it seems many grant holders, like Mrs Baig, did not receive any notice telling them of the change. The 71-year-old said she found out only after her mother's death.

"I was shocked and saddened when I was first told," she said.

"It's not fair. We signed a contract for 50 years. We thought that was binding."

Local Government Minister John Castrilli said a communication strategy was adopted in April last year that included various online initiatives and a dedicated email address for inquiries.

Metropolitan Cemeteries Board chief executive Peter Deague said most people whose burial grants expired next month were eligible to renew their grant before or after July 2.

But Ms Baig said as a pensioner she could not afford the $2000 fee to renew the tenure.

Anyone with inquiries should contact 1300 793 109 or email <a rel="nofollow">2012expiry@mcb.wa.gov </a>.au