Council To Review Cemetery Operations

Bass Coast Shire Council is reviewing the operations of its cemeteries in Wonthaggi and San Remo following a service review earlier this year.

As requested by Council’s Executive Management, an external audit has been undertaken.

Mayor, Cr Neil Rankine, said Council will be taking action following the audit carried out on the Wonthaggi Cemetery Trust.

“Council will respond to recommendations with the production of a master plan and business plan for ongoing development and maintenance of the Wonthaggi and San Remo cemeteries, including improved access to the cemeteries,” Cr Rankine said.

 “Council will also seek funding for the implementation of these recommendations.”

Public cemeteries in Victoria are governed by cemetery trusts, which may be responsible for one or more public cemeteries.

There are 504 Victorian cemetery trusts managing approximately 571 public cemeteries – 48 of which are managed by local councils.

Cemetery trusts serve the community by providing services and maintaining public cemeteries and are accountable to the Victorian Minister for Health under the Cemeteries and Crematoria Act 2003.

Council manages the Wonthaggi Cemetery Trust, which is responsible for two cemeteries – the Wonthaggi Public Cemetery and San Remo Public Cemetery.

The other five cemeteries in Bass Coast Shire are run by volunteer Trusts, with some supported by Council grants.

The Wonthaggi Cemetery Trust operates to ensure the needs of the community are met in terms of:

  • arranging the maintenance of cemetery grounds and preparation of graves;
  • record keeping and reporting;
  • provision of information from records to members of the public (in accordance with the Privacy Act); and
  • planning for future cemetery needs.

“The Wonthaggi Cemetery has historical significance and has been managed by the Wonthaggi Cemetery Trust through the Bass Coast Shire Council since 1994 and prior to this, by the Borough of Wonthaggi,” Cr Rankine said.

“Council has been working with community members regarding their concerns about the maintenance and physical requirements of the Wonthaggi Cemetery and the recommendations from the audit will address these concerns.”