The department will have a program of compliance reviews for councils/organisations with cemeteries and crematoria.
The purpose of a compliance review is to make sure the legislation is understood and being complied with.
The department must report to the council/corporation on the results of the review and may require administrative or operational changes be made to ensure compliance with the legislation.
Inspectors will be appointed by the CEO of the Department of Local Government, Housing and Community Development. An inspector must show their identity card before exercising any powers, and if asked to do so.
The functions of an inspector include to:
- assess whether or not persons are complying with this Act
- carry out compliance reviews
- investigate and gather evidence of suspected offences.
Inspectors have powers to perform their functions such as the power:
- to request information
- of entry to a cemetery/crematorium (they must advise that they are an inspector and give reasonable opportunity to allow entry)
- to examine and take copies of documents.
The council/organisation must respond to the requests of an inspector.
If there are reasonable grounds to suspect an irregularity in relation to the control or operation of a cemetery or crematorium, the department may direct that an investigation is to be held. An investigation may be conducted by one or more inspectors.
If an inspector finds evidence of an irregularity in the operations of a cemetery or crematorium, the inspector must report the matter to the CEO of the Department of Local Government, Housing and Community Development and the responsible entity for the cemetery or crematorium.
If the irregularity appears to involve illegality or non-compliance, the CEO must report the matter to the minister.
If the minister believes, on reasonable grounds, that there have been repeated contraventions of legislation, or operational or administrative irregularities, the minister may issue:
- an enforcement order
- a suspension notice (only applicable to crematoria).
An enforcement order will provide information such as the grounds on which it is issued, the actions that the council/organisation must take and the date by which compliance is required, the maximum penalty for contravening the notice and how to have the order reviewed.
The order may also vary the conditions of licence for a crematorium.
The council/organisation must report to the minister about what action has been taken, by the date given in the order.
In relation to a crematorium, a suspension notice may be issued by the minister if they believe, on reasonable grounds, that there have been repeated contraventions of legislation or operational or administrative irregularities.
A suspension notice provide information such as the grounds on which it is issued, the actions that the council/organisation must take, the date by which compliance is required, the maximum penalty for contravening the notice and how to have the notice reviewed.
Failure to remedy contraventions
For a cemetery, if the contraventions in an enforcement order or suspension notice are not remedied, the minister may:
- revoke the establishment of the cemetery
- declare the cemetery to be a semi-closed cemetery
- declare the cemetery to be a closed cemetery.
For a crematorium, if the contraventions in an enforcement order or suspension notice are not remedied, the minister may revoke the licence of the crematorium.
The minister can revoke the semi-closed or closed declaration for a cemetery and the suspension notice for a crematorium.
Last updated: 31 January 2020
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