The State Liberals have committed to perpetual grave leases for war veterans in dedicated RSL approved burial sites and call on the Weatherill Labor Government to do the same.
Legislation covering graves are the responsibility of state governments; only the graves of Australians who died while fighting overseas are under the control of federal legislation.
Currently, NSW, QLD, ACT and the NT all pay for war graves to be kept in perpetuity. Victorian war graves are also exempt from leasing arrangements, although cremations are not.
In South Australia all graves are purchased via a 25 year lease and when this lease expires, a family member must re-purchase the lease for the next 25 years or the deceased will be dug up to make space.
The State Liberals proposal for perpetual war leases would only cover the parts of cemeteries that are dedicated to returned Service men and women and have the approval of the RSL.
This would ensure the ongoing tenure of approximately 8,086 plots at an approximate cost of $300,000 per year to the government.
“Our soldiers put their lives on the line to protect our country and they deserve our utmost respect,” said Shadow Veterans’ Affairs Minister Duncan McFetridge.
“This is a bipartisan issue and I am hopeful that the Weatherill Labor Government will support this initiative, especially given that this year is the Anzac Centenary.
“Given the sacrifice that our soldiers made, this is the very least that we, as a community, can do.”