Department of Health

Establishing a mausoleum

Key messages

  • The construction of a public mausoleum in a public cemetery requires approval from the department's Secretary.
  • Cemetery trusts must submit a detailed proposal for a new mausoleum to the department.
  • For a Class B trust the costs and returns of building a new mausoleum must be calculated using the department's Mausoleum construction finance model.
  • A Class A trust may use a different finance model provided that it does not provide less information than the department's finance model.
  • Please refer to the Mausoleum establishment and construction guidelines for a complete list of requirements for the detailed proposal to the department.

Under s. 22 of the Cemeteries and Crematoria Act 2003 (the Act) a cemetery trust must apply to the department's Secretary for approval to establish a public mausoleum in a public cemetery for which it is responsible. The trust must submit a detailed project proposal to the manager of the Cemetery Sector Governance Support Program.

Market analysis (demand)

The trust must provide clear evidence that there is demand for the new mausoleum.The Mausoleum establishment and construction guidelines provide details of what is required under this section.

A copy of the market analysis must be included in the application to the department. 

Perpetual maintenance

Under s. 39 of the Act the trust must, in fixing its fees and charges for services, consider the need to maintain the public cemetery in perpetuity (this includes maintaining the proposed mausoleum). Enough funds should be set aside and invested to provide sufficient perpetual maintenance, based on adequate sales pricing of the proposed crypts. The Mausoleum establishment and construction guidelines provide details of what is required under this section.

Profitability analysis, architect's report and quantity surveyor's report (data)

The trust must undertake a profitability analysis of the proposed mausoleum construction (separate to the actuarial analysis discussed below). This is to help the trust confirm that the project is financially sound before proceeding. Please specify the pricing to be used for the mausoleum products. A Class B trust must submit the department's Mausoleum construction finance model to the department for review. A Class A trust has some flexibility in the finance model used. Please note the business case will be submitted to the department's corporate finance area for a review of its adequacy. An architect's report and quote that details the construction costs (quantity surveyor data) should be provided (separate to the business case, not as an attachment).

The Mausoleum establishment and construction guidelines provide details of what is required under this section. 

The department's Mausoleum construction finance model

The department's Mausoleum construction finance model is designed in Microsoft Excel format. The trust must provide both a printed and an electronic version of the completed Excel workbook with its application. The trust will need to have access to all project costs and projected sales figures in order to complete the workbook developed for the model. 

Note that Microsoft Excel is required to complete the model. See the Mausoleum construction finance model user guide for information on how to use the model. 

Actuarial analysis

The actuarial report must be undertaken by a registered actuary. The actuary will be expected to provide a report which confirms the trusts marketing and financial assumptions and the expected return on investment on the proposed mausoleum project. A copy of the actuarial report must be provided to the department as part of the trust's application. The actuarial report should include scenarios to test the assumptions. The report needs to demonstrate that the project would remain profitable even under suboptimal conditions.

The Mausoleum establishment and construction guidelines provide details of what is required under this section.

Risk analysis

Please discuss any risk mitigation strategies that the trust intends to use (for example, only starting construction once a certain level of sales have been achieved that covers a certain percentage of construction costs).

Purchasing processes

All purchases made by a cemetery trust must comply with the Victorian Government's procurement policy including the Ministerial Directions for Public Construction Procurement in Victoria, which came into effect on 1 July 2018. The application must include details of the procurement process that the trust will undertake, consistent with the Ministerial Directions.

The Mausoleum establishment and construction guidelines provides links to further information on procurement requirements. 

Building and construction information

In its application to the department's Secretary, the trust will need to give an undertaking that it intends to:

  • obtain working drawings and written certification -- signed by an architect registered in an Australian state or territory, or by a civil engineer registered as a building practitioner in the state of Victoria -- to the effect that the design, construction and completion of the mausoleum will be undertaken according to the current Cemeteries and Crematoria Regulations 2005 and Australian Standard: Above-ground burial structures (AS 4425-1996), and all its subsequent amendments
  • obtain advice from the local council's planning department about any specific requirements in relation to planning approvals (note that it may not be necessary to obtain a building permit)
  • prepare a maintenance budget for the upkeep of the mausoleum
  • develop an asset maintenance manual, including an annual maintenance logbook

Reviewed 24 November 2021

Health.vic

Contact details

Hours: Monday to Friday 9.00 am to 5.00 pm

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

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