Department of Health

Key messages

  • If you are concerned about a decision made by a cemetery trust, you should contact the trust to discuss the matter.
  • The department does not have a formal complaints resolution role and does not have the power to direct a cemetery trust on operational matters.
  • Consumer Affairs Victoria is the responsible agency to refer complaints about funeral directors.

Making a complaint about a cemetery trust

Cemetery trusts are independent statutory bodies responsible for the day-to-day management and operation of public cemeteries. If you have a concern about a cemetery, you should contact the responsible trust. Contact details for all Victorian cemetery trusts can be accessed using the department’s Cemetery search.

If a cemetery trust receives a complaint, it is the trust’s responsibility to investigate the complaint and, where appropriate, resolve it. Trusts should manage complaints promptly, efficiently, fairly, and respectfully.

A cemetery trust may not disregard a complaint or consider it unnecessary to respond to. Once the trust has reviewed the complaint it should provide a written reply to the complainant.

Complaints relating to a family dispute or a dispute between right of interment holders are matters for the parties to resolve. It is not the responsibility of the cemetery trust to mediate or intervene.

Victorian Ombudsman

The Victorian OmbudsmanExternal Link can investigate complaints about Victorian public organisations including cemetery trusts. If a person is dissatisfied with a trust’s response, they can make a complaint to the Victorian Ombudsman via the online complaint formExternal Link .

Dispute settlement

The Dispute Settlement Centre of VictoriaExternal Link provides a free mediation service and may be able to assist to mediate disputes. They assess requests on a case-by-case basis and can be contacted via their online contact formExternal Link .

Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal

A right of interment holder can make an application to the Victorian Civil and Administrative TribunalExternal Link to review a trust decision regarding:

  • refusal to grant an approval to establish or alter a memorial or a place of interment in a cemetery
  • grant of an approval to establish or alter a memorial or a place of interment in the cemetery with terms and conditions.

Significant governance failures and fraud

The department may investigate significant matters relating to cemetery trust governance and financial affairs such as:

  • fraud (for example, misappropriation of trust funds)
  • significant governance failures
  • poor record-keeping practices
  • conflicts of interest.

If a person suspects fraud, they should notify the chairperson of the cemetery trust. The chairperson must act on the concern and decide whether to investigate it further internally or report it to the police and the department.

Complaints about funeral directors

Consumer Affairs VictoriaExternal Link is the appropriate agency to direct complaints about funeral directors.

Complaints management advice for cemetery trusts

Refer to Topic 24 in the Manual for Victorian Class B Cemetery Trusts for advice about complaints management.

Reviewed 31 October 2023


Contact details

Hours: Monday to Friday 9:00am to 5:00pm

Cemetery Sector Governance Support GPO Box 4057, Melbourne , VIC 3001

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