Report on missing ashes at private crematorium released

Released 07/06/2019

Transport Canberra and City Services today released the results of an investigation into lost ashes at the privately operated Norwood Park Crematorium.

Three cases of missing ashes were investigated as part of the process. The cases related to a Children’s Niche Wall that was relocated in 1992 to the current Children’s Court Wall. There is no indication this is a wider issue within Norwood Park.

The investigation looked into what had occurred between affected families and Norwood Park, the process used to search for missing ashes and Norwood Park’s processes and procedures.

Ashes belonging to one family have been confirmed as being correctly located, another family has had ashes returned to them and, sadly, the ashes belonging to one family have not yet been located.

The investigation made a number of recommendations for Norwood Park related to processes and record keeping to ensure this does not occur again. Norwood Park are cooperating with Transport Canberra and City Services to address the recommendations.

“Recommendations from the investigation focus on documenting processes and procedures and record keeping. The investigation recommends that Norwood Park check their records and close out any discrepancies in the records by contacting families,” said Jim Corrigan, Regulator and Deputy Director-General of City Services.

“Some families have requested they remain anonymous and to protect their privacy we will not be discussing cases of specific families. “In response, the Government will look to bring forward changes to the Cemeteries and Crematoria Act 2003 later in the year to make sure that this doesn’t happen again at a cemetery or crematorium in the ACT.

“We will look to strengthen the regulation of cemeteries and crematoria including requiring operators to keep documented policies and procedures and requiring more information to be kept on the location of interred ashes, as well as processes to be followed if interred ashes are ever to be moved.”

- Statement ends -

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