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Government Will Allow Graves to Be Reused

Media Releases

State Member for Wallsend, Ms Sonia Hornery MP, has criticised the Government for pushing ahead with plans to allow cemetery operators to dig up the remains of loved ones as soon as 25 years after burial.

In December last year, the Government only gave the public a short 2 week consultation window to have their say and despite the almost unanimous opposition to the plan, the Minister approved the Cemetery and Crematoria Amendment Regulation 2018 in June.

Under the Regulation, cemetery operators can dig up the remains of loved ones as soon as 25 years after burial. Families will now be faced with the extra cost of maintaining the grave or allowing cemetery operators to exhume remains and resell the plot to complete strangers.

A Parliamentary Inquiry was recently held into the impact and implementation of the Cemeteries and Crematoria Amendment Regulation 2018. The inquiry received hundreds of submissions from concerned residents, including many from the Wallsend electorate.

Despite this, the Government used its numbers in Parliament to defeat a motion that would have stopped this new law.

Quotes attributable to Member for Wallsend, Sonia Hornery

“This Government has proved yet again that everything has a price, but nothing has value.”

“Despite hearing from hundreds of people who were opposed or unaware of this regulation, the Government is simply forging ahead with its plans.”

“This law will lead to 2 classes of burials. Perpetual monuments for those who can afford it, and those who can’t afford it will be forced to see their loved one dug up.”

“I am also concerned that cemetery operators will be able to increase the price of perpetual graves and profit from people’s natural reluctance for limited tenure.”

“We are potentially looking at a situation where families will be contacted years down the track by cemetery operators demanding additional payment or face having their loved ones dug up.”

“This plan creates a situation where long-term burial would depend on someone’s capacity to pay.”