Burial And Cremation Amendment Bill 2018 Tabled In Parliament

Burial And Cremation Amendment Bill 2018 Tabled In Parliament

Tasmania Attorney-General Elise Archer

Government To Table Updated Burial And Cremation Amendment Bill 2018

Victor P Taffa

Tasmanian Government strongly believes amendments to the Burial and Cremation Amendment Bill 2018 will strengthen and clarify the regulatory framework for cemeteries, Attorney-General Elise Archer said.

After extensive consultation with the community and cemetery managers, the Government will table a bill today that strikes the right balance between ensuring the protection and preservation of cemeteries, but also enabling cemetery managers to do their important work without undue regulatory burden.

After extensive community consultation, our Bill will:

  • Clarify that the obligation for maintaining headstones, monuments etc. rests with the family or person who placed the monument, while cemetery managers are responsible for maintaining site infrastructure;
  • Introduce a staged closure process. The Regulator will have the capacity, upon application, to approve the closure of a cemetery no earlier than 50 years since the last internment. Unless an application is made by the cemetery manager to reduce the timeframe, the cemetery manager cannot do anything else with the land (such as remove headstones or exhume bodies) until 100 years since the last internment. The Regulator can also place conditions on the closure to ensure the ongoing protection of graves;
  • Remove the requirement for cemetery managers to undertake a 5 yearly audit as originally proposed, and rather, the Regulator can require an audit at their discretion.

Final Bill balances the many, important concerns expressed through the consultation process and allows us to achieve our objectives of giving the community more certainty and protections ahead of the timeframe set by the Anglican Church for their sale process.

“Importantly, the review of the Burial and Cremation Act 2002 is ongoing, with further reform expected to be introduced in 2019.”

“We look forward to debating this important Bill in coming days.” Attorney-General Archer said.