The Cemeteries and Crematoria Regulations 2015 (the Regulations) came into operation on 27 June 2015. The Regulations are designed to:
- regulate public cemeteries and crematoria
- regulate the activities of cemetery trusts
- meet community expectations in relation to the interment, cremation and memorialisation of deceased persons.
The Regulations were amended in July 2020 to provide for:
- applying for cremation authorisation where remains are of unknown identity
- approving applications for cremation authorisation where remains are of unknown identity
- allowing cremated remains of unknown identity to be interred or scattered in a public cemetery
- allowing an inspector or designated officer of a school of anatomy to apply to inter or cremate body parts.
The Regulations are available on the Victorian Legislation website.
Regulations review process
In Victoria, all regulations sunset (end) ten years after they are made. The regulations for the cemeteries and crematoria sector were first made in 2005 to regulate public cemeteries and crematoria, and the activities of cemetery trusts.
In anticipation of the sunset of the regulations, the department undertook a review to assess the relevance of their content in the context of changes that had occurred in the sector, and community expectations during the previous ten years. Since the regulations were first made in 2005, the sector had been impacted by events including several high-level sector reviews, the restructure and amalgamation of the larger cemetery trusts and the widespread implementation of sector-specific governance training for trust members.
In March 2014, the department conducted a public consultation process as part of the review. The department sought feedback on a range of matters, including amendments proposed by the department, as well as inviting proposed amendments from stakeholders to improve the operation of the regulations. The department received submissions from a range of stakeholders including cemetery trusts, funeral directors and sector peak bodies.