Remembrance Park is aware that its application of the adornment policy has caused uncertainty and concern to many families with loved ones interred at our cemeteries.
We understand and sympathise with families that want to memoralise and decorate the graves of their loved ones. This is a deeply emotional issue. While our actions to-date have been motivated by compliance with Occupational Health and Safety laws, we recognise that we should have provided better support to families and communicated more widely before acting the way we did.
Our responsibility is to ensure that we uphold the regulations and rules enshrined in legislation and set by WorkSafe. Our policies on memorials on graves and memorial sites is designed to protect the health and safety of staff and visitors to our cemeteries, to help protect the environment and support the different cultural and religious needs of the wide range of people in Victorian communities.
We also have a responsibility to families who want to decorate graves of their loved ones and we must do better to explain to families what is permitted and not permitted on interred sites. We will support any person or family who wants to work with us to navigate the rules to ensure they are compliant.
Our senior executives have already met with some families to help them modify their adornments to ensure these are compliant. Among the families we are currently working with some have what looks like unsafe and non-compliant seats installed at
their loved ones’ grave sites. We have undertaken to have the seats independently checked for safety and if they are not compliant, we will install Trust owned seats to replace them.
We look forward to working co-operatively with all Remembrance Park families and thank everyone for their input, support and patience as we restore the balance to ensure that the flower and ornament rules which allow visitors to place items at sites meet both our duty of care and families memoralising their loved ones.
Media Inquiries to Simone Gandur 0404813771