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Frequently asked questions about Cemeteries

Wauchope Cemetery

Trying to make decisions about your own burial, or that of a loved one, can be emotional, quite confronting and confusing. To help you better understand, here are answers to frequently asked questions to assist you through this difficult time.

What is Inurnment?

The placement of cremated remains in an urn, after which the urn is placed into a niche or other resting location.

What is Interment?

Refers to the placement of human remains in the ground. 

What is an Interment Right?

An Interment Right (formerly known as a Burial Licence or a Right of Burial) is an exclusive right granted by Port Macquarie-Hastings Council for use of a burial or memorial site.

The holder of the Interment Right has the authority to determine who can be buried in the grave or memorial site; request the installation of headstones, inscriptions or memorials on the site.

What happens to a reserved plot/site when I am deceased?

If the plot will not be occupied by the intended Interment Right holder/s, then the Right of Interment will become part of the Deceased Estate and will be managed by the Executor accordingly.

Does the Interment Right holder own the land where the grave/interment site is?

No. The ownership of the land, wall, garden and memorials remains with Port Macquarie-Hastings Council. The Interment Right holder's entitlement is limited to use and access of the interment site described in the Right of Interment.

Can anyone apply to have an interment into a reserved plot?

The Interment Right holder (or, if the Interment Right holder is deceased, the executor/authorised person of the Interment Right holder) are the only people able to authorise an interment into a reserved plot.

An application must be made for an Order of Interment, formerly known as a Burial Permit, prior to the burial. 

What is an Order of Interment and how do I apply for one?

An Order of Interment is a permit that allows a burial (or interment) to take place at your chosen site. The Order of Interment needs to be lodged with Council prior to the burial/placement by the Funeral Director or Interment Right holder. 

How many interments can take place in a gravesite?

One burial and up to four inurnments of cremated ashes can be placed in the one gravesite, depending on the cemetery location. Please contact us for more information on 6581 8111

Can the cremated remains of a person/s be placed in a grave?

Yes. The Interment Right holder is the only person who can apply for this.

How do I know the details of the site I would like to reserve?

Sometimes its best to visit the cemetery you would like to reserve your plot in and select a location - either a burial site or a niche wall.

Because some locations may already be reserved, it's ideal if you identify a few alternate options. Once you have made some decisions, contact our Cemeteries Team  who will be able to confirm:

  • availability
  • location
  • any conditions and restrictions that may be relevant to the plot you have chosen

Once the site has been confirmed an Application for Perpetual Interment Right form and payment are required to secure the site. 

What do I do if I have not reserved a site and require a plot for immediate use?

Your Funeral Director will liaise with Port Macquarie-Hastings Council and make all the necessary arrangements.

How do I relinquish a reservation?

You will need to complete a transfer of Perpetual Interment Right application form.

We will then process and refund the amount already paid (less current administration fees set out in our fees and charges) by direct deposit to the Interment Right holder.

How do I go about making funeral arrangements?

Contact your Funeral Director who will assist you with all the necessary arrangements, including any permits required through Council.

You can speak to us directly and arrange to purchase your right of interment which includes determining which cemetery and which location.

Do I need to use a Funeral Director?

Funeral Directors are in the best position to assist you during this time. They can provide the documentation required for cremation, coffins, transportation of the deceased and arrangements for the service in line with Public Health Act 2010 and Cemeteries and Crematoria Act NSW 2013.

Can ashes be posted to Council?

Ashes cannot be posted to  Council as we not have the facilities to store ashes in line with Public Health Act 2010 and Cemeteries and Crematoria Act NSW 2013. 


War Grave enquiries 

If you wish to find out if someone is buried in a War Graves unless contact The Office of Australian War Graves on 1800 VETERAN (1800 838 372) as they keep records of veterans buried all over Australia. Alternatively, email or post: 


Office of Australian War Graves 
GPO Box 9998 
Brisbane Qld 4001 



This page was last updated on: 09 June 2021