Public Health Regulation 2022 (the Regulation) allows the Secretary to approve the burial of a deceased person in a grave at a depth of less than 900mm.
Shallow burials are carried out due to individual circumstances and to respect the culture, beliefs, and religious practices of deceased persons and their families. Some reasons for requesting a shallow burial include:
The Regulation (section 90 Burial of bodies) allows the Secretary to approve, generally or in a particular case, a deceased person to be buried in a grave at a depth less than 900mm. An application can be made to the local health district public health unit (PHU) for this approval.
The approval can establish pre-approved methods for shallow burials that commonly occur, in accordance with industry practice, or cases where special design methods are necessary due to subsurface conditions. For example, this can include two burials in one grave, or geotechnical engineering work that is required in a cemetery (or cemeteries) where certain subsurface ground conditions are found (such as a high-water table and shallow depth to a rock floater or bedrock).
An application for a shallow burial must be submitted to the
PHU in the area in which the body of the deceased will be buried.
The applicant needs to complete the application form and provide detailed information to support the application including the cemetery plot number/reference, a plan and methodology of the interment.
Within 14 days of the interment, the council or cemetery authority must record satisfactory compliance with the requirement within their records/cemetery register.