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Wednesday, 11 February 2015

WAR VETERANS’ ASHES TO BE PROTECTED FOREVER

State Members for Bendigo, Maree Edwards MP and Jacinta Allan MP said today that the Andrews Labor Government will protect the ashes of Victoria’s war veterans.

Currently, ashes may be scattered when family members cannot be contacted after a designated period of time, generally 25 years.

Under the Cemeteries and Crematoria Amendment (Veterans Reform) Bill 2015 introduced last night, cemetery trusts will extend the limited interment tenure of war veterans’ ashes and ensure their remains are held in perpetuity.

The Bill will also enable the Bendigo Cemetery Trust to relocate veterans’ remains if necessary and establish a memorial, and ensure veterans’ remains are not separated from their family members. Bendigo Cemetery Trust is responsible for Bendigo, Eaglehawk, Kangaroo Flat, White Hills and Axedale Public Cemeteries.

Extensive consultation was undertaken to develop this legislation, which is strongly supported by veterans and the Returned and Services League.

This legislation was introduced in to the previous Parliament but unfortunately wasn’t brought on for debate by the former Liberal Government.

The Andrews Labor Government has introduced this legislation because we want to ensure our war heroes are given the respect they deserve, forever.

These changes are particularly poignant this year, as Victorians mark the centenary of the ANZAC landing at Gallipoli and pay tribute to the sacrifices of our heroic war veterans.

Quotes attributable to Member for Bendigo East, Jacinta Allan MP

“As we mark the centenary of the Gallipoli landing this year, we’re making sure our veterans are treated with the dignity they deserve.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Bendigo West, Maree Edwards MP

“These men and women fought for our country and deserve to have their remains kept in perpetuity.”

“I’ve written to the Bendigo District RSL and the Kangaroo Flat RSL Sub-Branch to update them on these changes. I know it will mean so much to them.”

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