Lost ashes trigger crematoria change

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City Services Minister Chris Steel. 

LEGISLATION introduced today (November 28), which provides tough new regulation of the cemeteries and crematoria industry, will make sure no ashes will ever be lost again in the ACT, says City Services Minister Chris Steel. 

“Following the independent investigation into lost ashes at Norwood Park Crematorium, we said we would change the law to make sure this distressing incident wouldn’t happen again,” he says.

“We have learnt lessons from this and we want to ensure no family will ever go through this again.”

The regulatory framework includes a licensing scheme for operators of facilities, improved requirements for record keeping, the requirement to keep standard operating procedures, and a new provision that specifies that cremated remains can only be disinterred at the request of the family, or with approval from the regulator.

Mr Steel says today’s legislation also addresses the needs of Canberra’s diverse community for a variety of burial and crematorium services that meet their cultural and religious needs.

“One in 10 people don’t have their religious or cultural needs met in our existing facilities – some families have to travel to Sydney for funeral services and this is unacceptable in a socially inclusive society,” he says.

“The bill recognises that all people should be able to expect cemetery and crematoria services that meet their needs, no matter what those needs are.”

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