1087. Hon AARON STONEHOUSE to the Leader of the House
representing the Minister for Local Government:
I refer the minister to the answer
he provided to part (4) of my question without notice 1019 on Karrakatta
renewal on Wednesday, 18 September. I thank
him for confirming that a total of 42 requests for re-grants have been received
this year, and that all 42 of those have been approved. In the pursuit
of clarity, however, I ask the following.
(1) Is the
minister aware of the case of Mrs Carolyn Trigwell, who approached the
Metropolitan Cemeteries Board via email on
27 August 2019 asking whether her grandmother's grave, located in the
Roman Catholic HA portion of
Karrakatta Cemetery, close by that of Victoria Cross recipient Martin O'Meara,
was eligible for a further 25-year re-grant?
(2) Is the
minister further aware of the reply, sent by email on 28 August by an MCB
client liaison officer, informing Mrs Trigwell that the plot was not available
for re-grant as there were plans to build mausolea over the graves in that
(3) Can the
minister explain why Mrs Trigwell's application was rejected out of
hand, but did not appear in the figures that he gave in his answer of 18
September? If, as I suspect, it is because no formal paperwork was submitted,
how many other informal approaches have been made to the MCB this year seeking
re-grant, only to be denied outright, and how can concerned citizens make a formal
application if they are blocked in this manner?
(4) Given the historical significance of Sergeant O'Meara's
grave, what steps are being taken to ensure that it is not lost to posterity as
part of this renewal process, and what comfort can the minister offer Mrs Trigwell,
whose late family members, Vivette and Clyde Higgins, are not being
afforded the same courtesy?
The PRESIDENT: Member, that
is probably more in the form of a letter than a question.
Hon SUE ELLERY replied:
I thank the honourable member for
some notice of the question.
(1)–(4) No formal application was received to renew the
grant of right of burial for the grave of Vivette Higgins in the Roman Catholic HA area of Karrakatta Cemetery.
If Mrs Trigwell were to lodge an application to review the grant of right of
burial, it would be rejected, as was communicated to her. The reason the
application would be rejected is that the statutory grant of right of burial is
set at 25 years, which exceeds the current plan to renew the Roman Catholic HA
area for the purpose of building a mausoleum planned to occur in a time frame
of beyond 15 years. Alternatives for families of graves located in areas
planned for renewal that involve the development of a mausoleum are the
purchase of a new grant of right of burial elsewhere within the cemetery;
purchase of a crypt in the planned mausoleum; cremating the remains; or leaving
the remains in situ and negotiating with the Metropolitan Cemeteries
Board to relocate the headstone. With all options, the Metropolitan Cemeteries
Board will cover the cost of exhumation and reinterment. Sergeant O'Meara's
grave is a retained war grave and, as a Victoria Cross recipient, is protected
under the current Metropolitan Cemeteries Board memorandum of understanding
with the Office of Australian War Graves and the state government memorandum of
understanding concerning VC recipients.