Department of Health

Seeking variation or forced surrender of a right of interment held by another person

Key messages

  • In March 2021, Parliament passed the Cemeteries and Crematoria Amendment Act 2021 that provides the Secretary to the department with a discretionary power to direct the variation or forced surrender of a right of interment in certain circumstances.
  • An application seeking variation or forced surrender of a right of interment can be made by or on behalf of an affected person as defined in s. 84A(1) of the Cemeteries and Crematoria Act 2003.
  • Applicants should allow at least six months for consideration of an application.

In March 2021, Parliament passed the Cemeteries and Crematoria Amendment Act 2021 (the Amendment Act). The Amendment Act has amended the Cemeteries and Crematoria Act 2003 (the Cemeteries Act) to provide the Secretary to the department with a discretionary power to direct the variation or forced surrender of a right of interment to protect persons directly and adversely affected by:

  • an indictable offence; or
  • the death of a person if the coroner has identified a responsible person in relation to that death and that responsible person is deceased (for example circumstances of murder-suicide),

from further significant harm, pain or suffering that would occur if the right of interment were exercised in favour of the offender or person responsible for the death.

The Secretary's power to direct the variation or forced surrender of a right of interment has effect from 15 November 2021. It applies in respect of all rights of interment granted or transferred from this date and also applies retrospectively to rights of interment purchased or transferred, on or after 1 July 2005.

Further information is available in the fact sheet Seeking variation or forced surrender of a right of interment held by another person.

Making an application

An application requesting the Secretary direct the variation or forced surrender of another person's right of interment can only be made by or on behalf of an affected person. Section 84A(1) of the Cemeteries Act defines an affected person as a person who is directly and adversely affected by either:

  • an indictable offence; or
  • the death of a person if the coroner has identified a responsible person in relation to that death who is themselves deceased (for example circumstances of murder-suicide).

Any documentation the applicant has which confirms the relevant conviction for indictable offence or coronial finding of a person responsible for another person's death should be provided with their application. Without evidence of a relevant conviction of indictable offence or coronial finding of a person responsible for another person's death the application cannot be progressed.

Before making an application to the Secretary please read the fact sheet Seeking variation or forced surrender of a right of interment held by another person to confirm your eligibility.

Application form

To make an application to the Secretary, the Application to the Secretary seeking variation or forced surrender of a right of interment form must be completed. The form can be completed by hand or completed online and printed for signature.

Applicants should refer to the Seeking variation or forced surrender of a right of interment held by another person fact sheet to ensure they submit a complete application. The fact sheet provides information about required supporting documentation that must be submitted with the application form.

Submitting an incomplete application will cause delays in consideration of the application and may, at the department's discretion, result in the return of the application in full for completion.

Reviewed 11 November 2021

Health.vic

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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