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Department of Premier and Cabinet

The Burial and Cremation Regulations 2015

This page provides information on current cemetery management laws. The Tasmanian Government is currently reviewing these laws. A number of changes to the laws came into effect on 26 December 2018.

Information on the following is available on this page:

Further information about the recent changes and the ongoing Cemeteries Legislative Review can be found on the Review page.

Cemetery management responsibilities

Cemetery managers have a range of important legal obligations and duties. For example, cemetery managers are responsible for:

  • the correct handling and interment (burial) of human remains;
  • providing public access to cemeteries:
  • administration and record-keeping; and
  • general maintenance and upkeep of cemeteries.

Cemetery managers must understand and be willing and able to fulfil the relevant obligations and duties, or they may be liable for fines under the Act for breaches of their duties, or exposed to legal action from affected parties (for example, friends and families of interred persons, or the holders of exclusive rights of burial).

Compliance and enforcement

If you have any concerns in relation to the management of a cemetery, please contact the Local Government Division on 03 6232 7022 or by email to lgd@dpac.tas.gov.au.

The Regulator has powers to ensure that cemeteries are managed appropriately, including powers to:

  • request that cemetery managers undertake an audit;
  • issue directives to cemetery managers; and
  • issue infringement notices.

The Local Government Division also handles compliance issues for crematoriums and prescribed businesses.

Selling a cemetery

Any person or organisation intending to sell a cemetery must publish a public notice of their intention to sell and obtain a certificate of compliance from the Regulator before selling. An application for a certificate of compliance must be accompanied by a copy of an audit conducted in line with the Audit Guidelines.

A cemetery can only be sold to a body corporate that has been approved by the Regulator to be the Cemetery Manager.

Important information on the requirements and process for the sale and transfer of cemeteries can be found in the following documents:

Becoming a cemetery manager

A new manager of a cemetery must be a body corporate with perpetual succession.  If an entity intends to manage a cemetery (or establish a new cemetery), an application must be submitted to the Regulator, even if that entity already manages another cemetery.

Information on the requirements and process for becoming a cemetery manager can be found in the following documents:

Establishment of new cemeteries

To establish a new cemetery the land must be approved for use as a cemetery under the Land Use Planning and Approvals Act 1993 (LUPAA). The council for the local government area where it is intended the cemetery will be located should be contacted in the first instance to apply for approval.

Once the land is approved, an entity must apply to the Regulator to become a cemetery manager and for approval to establish the cemetery.

Closure of cemeteries

A cemetery manager must apply to the Regulator for approval to close a cemetery.

An application to close a cemetery can only be made at least 50 years since the last burial.

If a cemetery is closed, cemetery managers are not permitted to use the land for another purpose (for example, lay the cemetery out as a park or garden, remove tombstones or exhume bodies) for at least 100 years since the last burial (except in exceptional circumstances), and must first apply to the Regulator.

The Regulator is also able to place conditions on closed cemeteries, for example, conditions to ensure the protection of historical graves or the graves of veterans.

Information on the requirements and process for closing a cemetery can be found in the following documents:

Approved forms, resources and related information

Payment of application fees

Applications must be accompanied by the relevant application fee. Please attach a copy of the receipt for payment of the fee with your application.

Payment can be made by direct deposit to:

Account name:    DEPARTMENT OF PREMIER AND CABINET COLLECTIONS
BSB:                   037-001 
Account number: 268 569

Reference:          CEMETERY <APPLICANT’S NAME>

To pay by Mastercard or Visa telephone – 03 6232 7600. Quote reference CEMETERY <APPLICANT’S NAME>

Fees payable:

APPLICATION

PRESCRIBED FEE (2018-19)

PRESCRIBED FEE (2019-20)

Cemetery Manager Application

$189.60

$194.40

Certificate of Compliance Application

$189.60

$194.40

Cemetery Closure Application

$189.60

$194.40

Application to establish a new cemetery

$94.80

$97.20

Application to reduce certain timeframes

$126.40

$129.60

Declaration of Life Extinct Forms

The Director of Local Government is responsible for approving  'Declaration of Life Extinct' (DoLE) forms and the requirements for the use of identification tags for human remains.

The DoLE forms can be ordered in triplicate from Mercury Walch Pty Ltd.

Contact Mercury Walch:

Mercury Walch Pty Ltd
5 Bowen Road
Moonah Tasmania 7009

Phone:  03 6232 2101
Fax: 03 6228 4631
sales@mercurywalch.com.au

More information

For more information about cemetery management contact the Local Government Division: