A new interment rights system in NSW

In 2012, the NSW Government commenced a program of reforms to bring a coordinated, strategic approach to management of interment in New South Wales.

The Cemeteries and Crematoria Act 2013 (the Act) was passed by the NSW Parliament and commenced on 24 October 2014. Part 4 of the Act which introduces a new interment rights system in NSW commenced on 25 June 2018 with a 12 month transition period to June 2019 to enable implementation in a measured and systematic manner.

Information and resources to assist both cemetery operators and consumers will be progressively published on this website in the coming months.

Download the questions and answers fact sheet

Industry guides

Guide to heritage advisory committees—Issued under section 69 of the Cemeteries and Crematoria Act 2013, has been developed and published to assist operators with the establishment and management of heritage advisory committees.

Download the Guide to heritage advisory committees

Information regarding religious or cultural practices

The Cemeteries and Crematoria Regulation 2014 requires that before human remains can be disturbed, cemetery operators must make all reasonable efforts to ascertain any cultural or religious practices which apply to those remains.

To assist in identifying relevant cultural or spiritual leaders who can be consulted, additional information is provided below and will be progressively updated over time.

The organisations are listed in alphabetical order:

Organisations Contact details
Anglican Church Diocese of Sydney Gateway to search for one of the registered churches database
Australian Federation of Islamic Council

Email: admin@afic.com.au

Telephone: 02 9931 96733

Australian National Imams Council

Email: info@anic.org.au

Telephone: 1300 765 964

Australia and New Zealand Diocese of the Russian  Orthodox Church Outside of Russia

Email: anzdiocese@iinet.net.au

Baptist Churches of NSW & ACT

Email: hello@nswactbaptists.org.au

Telephone: 02 9868 9201

Buddhist Council of New South Wales

Email: office@buddhistcouncil.org

Telephone: 02 9966 9638

Congregational Federation of Australian and New Zealand (no website)

Email: keithlyons@westnet.com.au

NSW Ecumenical Council

Email: nswec@ncca.org.au

Telephone: 02 8259 0819

NSW Jewish Board of Deputies

Email: mail@nswjbd.com

Telephone: 02 9360 1600

Sabian Mandaean Association of Australia (no website)

Email: President@mandaean.org.au

Telephone: 02 9602 3114

Sydney Beth Din

Email: secretary@bethdin.org.au

Sydney Chevra Kadisha

Email: info@chevrakadishasydney.com

Public consultation

The draft Cemeteries and Crematoria Amendment Regulation 2017 was on public exhibition together with the Better Regulation Statement for a period of 28 days between 24 November 2017 and 22 December 2017.

Formal submissions were received from a wide range of stakeholders from industry and community peak bodies (including funeral directors, cemetery and crematoria associations, local government, the Aboriginal community, members of family history associations and the wider public).

The most frequent matters raised in comments were:

  • reinforcing the importance of respect for cultural and religious affiliation and requiring appropriate record keeping of the deceased’ faith in cemetery registers
  • consultation with appropriate religious and cultural authorities by cemetery operators in relation to interments and consecrated grounds in a cemetery
  • increased time periods for notification
  • protection of heritage items and memorials
  • appropriate digital records to be available
  • ensuring that the public are aware that renewable interment rights are purely optional and not mandatory
  • the importance of public education, explanation of interment rights and notification processes, and appropriate guidelines being available.

The comments received have been used to further refine the Cemeteries and Crematoria Regulation 2014 which commenced with ‘Part 4 interment rights’ of the Cemeteries and Crematoria Act 2013 on 25 June 2018.

Disclaimer: the information presented on this webpage has been provided by the organisations listed and is to assist with enquiries on religious and cultural practices for interment. The State of New South Wales (including the Department of Industry) and the publisher take no responsibility and will accept no liability, for the accuracy, reliability or correctness of any information included on this webpage.