Legislative Council Tuesday 10 September 2019
Ms FORREST question to LEADER of the GOVERNMENT in the LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL, Mrs HISCUTT
With regard to applications for new cemeteries, please provide detailed information, including the step-by-step process required for a successful application to open a new cemetery, including -
(1) (a) Approvals required under the Land Use Planning and Approvals Act 1993 - LUPAA - and the regulator.
(b) All associated costs.
(2) How is section 35 of the Burial and Cremation Act 2002 to be interpreted in relation to the holding of land in trust being taken to mean that the owner of the land must also be the manager of the cemetery?
Mr President, I thank the member for Murchison for her question and interest in this.
(1) A person intending to establish a cemetery must -
(a) Ensure the land has been approved for use as a cemetery under the Land Use Planning and Approvals Act 1993. The council for the local government area should be contacted in the first instance to apply for approval.
If the land has been approved for use as a cemetery under LUPAA, the applicant should then lodge concurrent applications to the regulator. First, for approval as a cemetery manager under section 33 of the draft bill and, second, for approval to establish the cemetery as set out in section 44 of the draft bill.
(b) If the applicant is not yet a body corporate, they must incorporate before the regulator can approve the application to become a cemetery manager. The current costs for the two application processes under the Burial and Cremation Act 2002 is a total of 180 fee units, or $292.10.
Additional fees may apply for obtaining approvals under LUPAA; however, this will depend on the local government area where the cemetery is to be established and what the approval involves - for example, change of land purpose or a planning scheme amendment. The requirement in the bill for approval under LUPAA is not new and is included in the existing act. There may also be fees involved for the cemetery manager to publish any public notices that may be required; this may also vary depending on the length of the notice and fees set by the publisher.
(2) Section 35 of the draft bill provides the cemetery manager is taken to hold the land in trust which requires the cemetery manager to deal with the land as if they were a trustee. Although it does not explicitly require that the cemetery manager own the land, in approving a person as a cemetery manager, it is open to the regulator to require the proposed cemetery manager to own the cemetery or land where the cemetery is to be established. To hold the land in trust for the purposes of a cemetery requires the cemetery manager to have effective and long-term control of the land. The final bill will clarify the land ownership requirements for cemetery managers.