Draft Northern Territory Burial and Cremation Bill

Update October 2019: The Burial and Cremation Bill will be withdrawn from Parliament. Work will continue towards new legislation and further consultation is being planned.

The consultation period on the draft Burial and Cremation Bill finished on 31 March 2019. All submissions will be reviewed before the Bill is further developed. Please feel free to browse information provided here about the Bill.

The Northern Territory Government has drafted a Burial and Cremation Bill to replace the current Northern Territory Cemeteries Act. The Cemeteries Act was developed in 1952 and has been revised to better reflect the needs and wishes of the Northern Territory community regarding burials, cremation and the handling of loved ones’ remains.

The new legislation will ensure that:

  • human remains continue to be treated with dignity and respect
  • burial and cremation records, such as registers, are kept and maintained
  • different practices and beliefs regarding the burial or cremation of human remains are accommodated
  • cemeteries on Aboriginal land are recognised.

The draft legislation has been developed based on feedback from stakeholders, including industry groups, government agencies and land councils.

Cemetery management arrangements are also covered in the draft bill PDF (320.5 KB), including the process for issuing burial permits and other documents.

For questions please contact:

Ethan Redshaw
Legislation and Policy Officer
Local Government and Community Development Division
08 8995 5107

Audio information on the draft bill in Aboriginal languages

Overview of proposed legislation changes


This information is not legal advice and does not cover all of the requirements proposed under the draft Burial and Cremation Bill. It is intended only as a quick reference for some of the main provisions. The full Bill PDF (320.5 KB) should be read for a complete picture.

Frequently asked questions

Municipal Council/ Corporation

Regional/Shire Council

Last updated: 29 October 2019


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