Burial and Cremation Bill passes Legislative Council

Mark Shelton,Minister for Planning

The Hodgman majority Liberal Government is delivering its commitment to strengthen and clarify Tasmania’s regulatory framework for cemeteries and crematoria, with the Burial and Cremation Bill 2019 passing through the Legislative Council today, without amendment.

This important Bill builds on the 2018 legislative amendments, which delivered on the Government’s commitment to preserve, protect and, where appropriate, strengthen both the rights of community members and obligations on cemetery managers.

The amendments reflect clear community sentiment that our cemeteries should be managed by appropriate entities that are accountable for their responsibilities.

The Bill retains the existing framework for the management of cemeteries, crematoria and regulated businesses while making a number of important improvements.

Key changes passed with the Bill include:

  • increasing protection of cremated remains by providing for exclusive rights of interment in monuments (i.e. columbariums), requiring access to monuments and notification requirements if cremated remains in a monument are to be moved;
  • aligning the requirements for crematoria and regulated businesses with those for cemeteries by establishing the Regulator role for crematoria and regulated businesses and introducing an application process to manage these businesses;
  • strengthening compliance and enforcement powers by allowing the Regulator to request an audit of a cemetery, crematoria or regulated business, requiring managers to notify the Regulator if they become aware that their business is not listed on the Register held by the Regulator, and new and increased penalties for non-compliance;
  • allowing the Regulator to approve a person other than a body corporate to purchase cemeteries that were purchased by individuals under the previous legislative framework;
  • clarifying that cemetery owners may participate in non-binding pre-sale negotiations;
  • clarifying that cemetery managers may lease a cemetery on publicly owned land;
  • restructuring the legislation to improve clarity and consistency and support potential changes to administrative responsibility; and
  • introduces minor amendments to improve overall clarity and consistency of the Bill.

The Hodgman majority Liberal Government gave a commitment to strengthen and clarify this legislation and we have delivered that promise.

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