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October 2014

Honouring the memory of war veterans

The ashes of Victorian war veterans will be protected for eternity under new legislation introduced into Parliament.

‘The Government is taking action to ensure the ashes of all identified war veterans interred in Victorian cemeteries have permanent tenure,’ Minister for Health and Ageing David Davis said.

‘Currently, cemetery trusts have no legal power to extend the tenure of expired ashes without instructions from family members.

‘We have listened to community concerns that cremated remains of war veterans could be discarded or scattered should trusts not be able to contact their family.

‘Thanks to these changes, cemetery trusts will now have the power to convert these limited tenure rights to permanent tenure where no one can be found to take responsibility for their ongoing care or no action has been taken by the deceased war veteran’s family.

‘These changes will also give trusts the ability to move remains to a place of remembrance, along with the remains of any family.

‘Our new laws will ensure that the ashes of war veterans will be protected for eternity, ensuring future generations can honour the sacrifices of deceased war veterans.

‘It is particularly fitting to pay this tribute to our veterans, past and present, at a time when our nation pauses to consider the momentous and terrible events of the First World War,’ Mr Davis said.