The Andrews Labor Government has introduced legislation to protect the ashes of Victoria’s war veterans.
Currently, ashes may be scattered when family members cannot be contacted after a designated period of time, generally 25 years.
Under the Cemeteries and Crematoria Amendment (Veterans Reform) Bill 2015, cemetery trusts will extend the limited interment tenure of war veterans’ ashes and ensure their remains are held in perpetuity.
The Bill also enables cemetery trusts to relocate veterans’ remains if necessary and establish a memorial, and ensure veterans’ remains are not separated from their family members.
Extensive consultation was undertaken to develop this legislation, which is strongly supported by veterans and the Returned and Services League.
This legislation was introduced into the previous Parliament but unfortunately wasn’t brought on for debate by the former Liberal Government.
The Labor Government has introduced this legislation because we want to ensure our war heroes are given the respect they deserve, forever.
These changes are particularly poignant this year, as Victorians mark the centenary of the ANZAC landing at Gallipoli and pay tribute to the sacrifices of our heroic war veterans.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Health, Jill Hennessy
“As we mark the centenary of the Gallipoli landing this year, we’re making sure our war heroes can be honoured forever.”
“The Andrews Labor Government is ensuring that the ashes of our veterans are treated with the dignity they deserve.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Veterans, John Eren
“All Victorians will agree that this is the right thing to do for our war heroes, to ensure they are never forgotten.”
“These men and women fought for our country and deserve to have their remains kept in perpetuity.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020