Veterans Graves

The Hon. A.L. McLACHLAN ( 16:15 ): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the Minister for Employment, Higher Education and Skills, representing the Attorney-General, a question regarding veterans’ war graves.

Leave granted.

The Hon. A.L. McLACHLAN: Earlier this month it was published in The Advertiser and other Messenger papers that the graves of some Gallipoli diggers and other war veterans were being reused once the lease expires, as around two-thirds of families are either unwilling or unable to pay the lease extensions. The articles revealed that, whilst veterans who died and were buried overseas in World War I or from wounds soon after their return are guaranteed permanent interment rights by the federal government, others who died from disputed or natural causes rely on family members renewing their leases for up to 99 years.

This has placed many veterans’ graves under threat of being reused. The Attorney was quoted as saying that the subsidisation of private burials or renewal of plot leases raises significant issues of equity, but that he would consider the matter. My questions to the Attorney are: can he advise whether he has considered the matter and, if he has, does the government intend to take any action to address this matter?

See full session on Hansard