Right now we all have a brief opportunity to make a real difference in ensuring that the descendants of those buried in South Australia are fully informed enabling them to take over expired leases, and save/ preserve the graves of their Ancestors, if this is what they wish – information is power.
South Australia has a new “Burial and Cremation Act 2013” which I’ve written about previously. The Draft Bill went through a Public Consultation process, passed the Parliament on 4 June 2013 and received Royal Assent on 14 June 2013.
This work to create a single Act to regulate the industry and to create consistency across the industry including the duration of interment rights, the closure and conversion of cemeteries and the re-use of interment sites, has ensured privately owned cemeteries are subject to the same regulatory scheme as publicly operated cemeteries. This began 10 years ago with the work of a Select Committee and has much to commend it e.g. the removal of the 99-year limitation on interment rights in public cemeteries but unfortunately the leasing arrangements, whereby a burial site can be re-used/ re-cycled if the lease is not renewed, remains.
However, all is not lost because the Act can not come into operation until the “Regulations” which describe how the Act will actually be administered have been written and passed by Parliament. It is most fortunate that our South Australian Attorney General/ Deputy Premier, John Rau, has called for public consultation on the Draft Regulations. Here is an opportunity for us all to put forward our views on aspects of this Bill crucial to family, family historians and genealogists… e.g.
*clarifying who is entitled to exercise, or enforce, an interment right when the holder of the lease has died.
*the manner in which descendants are advised the lease has expired and that if it remains unpaid the grave will revert to the control of the cemetery authority for “redevelopment” i.e. re-use/ re-cycling.
*the disposal of unclaimed memorials etc.
If you wish to take part in consultation on the Draft Regulations the contact person is:
Senior Legal Officer, Policy and Legislation
Responses need to be forwarded in little more than 2 weeks time i.e. by the close of business Friday 15 November 2013, at the latest, and sent to:
Burial and Cremation Regulations 2013 Consultation
c/o Legislative Services
GPO Box 464
ADELAIDE SA 5001
PLEASE NOTE: Consultation is not restricted to those residing in South Australia as many move interstate and/ or overseas trusting that their loved ones will be left to R.I.P. in their South Australian graves and with the memorials telling a little of their lives and especially the depth of love and feelings of loss.
For further information and/ or to discuss these matters with like minded folk you can always apply to join the “Saving Graves – South Australia” Facebook Group. Please click HERE for the details. Cheerio for now…
Copyright © 2013. Catherine Ann Crout-Habel