Cemetery requirements

To ensure the safety employees and visitors, and to assist with site access for maintenance and burials, see our cemetery requirements:

Depth of burials

The number of burials in a plot depends on the natural ground conditions, depth of the first burial and can be restricted due to the landform in the cemetery (rock, water table, or type of soil) and prevailing weather conditions.

The Public Health (Disposal of Bodies) Regulation 2012 has guidelines for minimal soil depth requirement. If the first interment (burial) is excavated to a depth of 2.1 metres, the site will accommodate two burials and up to four lots of ashes can be interred in a grave with two burials.

Headstone specifications

Headstone and kerbing must be of a type and design approved by Council and can only be installed by a Council approved Monumental Mason or Provider who applies for a permit. The Monumental Mason will be able to provide a quotation and information on the specification of headstones. All work must be consistent with Monumental Headstones in Cemeteries (1994) AS 4204.

Council will only grant a monumental permit with the consent of the grantee/holder or permit applicant of the Burial Licence and will not be liable for the future care, maintenance, preservation, conservation or restoration of the construction (headstone and surrounds) erected or placed over the grave.

All graves and monuments more than fifty years old are subject to the Heritage Act. It is the responsibility of the applicant and grantee to ensure that the proposed work is consistent with the requirements of the Act.

Individual headstones are permitted in the lawn sections of the cemeteries and are erected on the concrete beam or path. Headstone, kerbing, surrounds and slabs are only permitted in the monumental sections.

Lawn or beamed sections

Monumental sections

To allow for subsidence and settlement a headstone and/or kerbing may be installed up to three months after the burial date.

If you wish to place only a headstone in the monumental section of the cemetery, it must be set on a concrete/granite base that is placed level and pillared or piered into the ground.

Burial licences

A Burial Licence is an exclusive right granted by Council (or its predecessors) for use of a burial, cremation or memorial site (plot, niche wall, garden or memorial boulder/wall). There is no entitlement to any land or property. A Burial Licence can be purchased to reserve a site or to be used immediately for a burial/interment.

The holder of the Burial Licence has the sole authority to determine who is interred (buried) in the grave or cremation site/plot and to allow the installation of headstones, inscriptions or memorials on the site.

Council can lodge a reservation and send an application directly to purchase a pre-need Burial Licence/Interment Right or provide a map of the cemetery and a list of available Licences (plots). For Lake Macquarie City Cemetery prices or more information, email cemeteries@lakemac.nsw.gov.au or contact the Cemeteries Officer on 02 4921 0333.

A tentative reservation will only be held for four weeks and when the completed application and full payment is received, a Burial Licence will be issued.

These papers are presented to the Funeral Director so that the burial place can be confirmed with Council when arranging a burial or pre-need funeral.

The ownership of the land, wall, garden, or memorial boulder, remains with Council.

Burial permits

A Burial Permit is required and issued prior to any interment (burial or ashes) in Lake Macquarie City Council’s cemeteries.

The Burial Permit needs to be lodged with Council prior to the burial. The Burial Permit application must be completed and signed by the Burial Licence holder.

The Funeral Director coordinates the allocation of available gravesites or, alternatively, can reserve sites for future use. These arrangements are made directly with Council.

Plots are available for immediate use only burials at Belmont and Whitebridge cemeteries for one plot only. Council allocates the site location; burials are excavated to double depth (where conditions allow) and in consecutive order so use of land is sustainable. No reservations for additional plots will be available.

A Burial Permit is also required for interment of ashes in a gravesite, up to four lots of ashes can be interred in a grave with two burials.

For Lake Macquarie City Cemetery prices or more information, contact the Cemeteries Officer at cemeteries@lakemac.nsw.gov.au or call 02 4921 0333.

Niche walls, memorial gardens and memorial boulders/wall

A niche wall is a specially designed wall where ashes of the deceased are placed (only one set of ashes can be interred in each space) and a granite memorial plaque with inscription is installed over the "niche".

A memorial boulder/wall is a large granite rock/wall where a memorial plaque (only) is placed for those that have passed on. A memorial plaque can provide a place of remembrance for family members and friends to commemorate a life of those that have had their ashes scattered or are buried interstate or overseas.

Memorial ash interment gardens are available where ashes urns are interred (buried) into the garden and an inscribed granite plinth is installed for memorialisation. Memorial gardens are available at Belmont, Whitebridge and West Wallsend cemeteries.

Places are available for immediate use and for pre-need (reservation) and we can send you site maps that show available spaces to purchase. You can visit the cemetery and then contact Council’s Cemeteries Officer on 02 4921 0333 to confirm your tentative reservation and send an application. When the completed application and full payment is received, we can then arrange the purchase of space, ordering of plaque, installation, and provision of Burial Licence. We can organise pick-up of ashes from your Funeral Director or you can make an appointment to deliver the ashes to Council.

Immediate use graves

Both, Belmont and Whitebridge cemeteries were originally closed for new burial purchases and reservations in the late 1990s, however, due to demand for burials in these locations ‘immediate use’ sites have been identified.

A separate ‘immediate use’ burial application form must be completed for the burial.

For more information, contact the Cemeteries Officer on 02 4921 0333 or email cemeteries@lakemac.nsw.gov.au.

Page last updated: 21 June 2016