Cemeteries frequently asked questions

How do I arrange a burial for my loved one?

If you have lost a loved one, a funeral director will guide you through the steps that are to be taken to arrange all aspects of a funeral service including the burial or cremation. Your funeral director will liaise directly with council cemetery staff regarding the burial arrangements.

There are six funeral directors in the Mackay region:

  • City Funeral Services
  • Mackay Funerals
  • Newhaven Funerals and Crematorium
  • Whitsunday Funerals and Crematorium
  • Serene Funerals
  • Sarina Funerals

Council also offers a variety of options for ashes; Ashes burials and interments can be arranged either directly with council or through a funeral director who can make the arrangements with council on your behalf. Please refer to our ashes interment options for more information.

Do I need to contact council to confirm funeral arrangements?

When arranging a full burial with a funeral director, they will liaise with council with regards to all cemetery arrangements, you do not need to contact council.  If you have any questions regarding funeral arrangements, please discuss this directly with your chosen funeral director.

Can I pre-purchase or reserve a burial plot?

Council does not pre-sell burial plots in our cemeteries unless there are specific exceptional circumstances.  The reservation of a plot is allowable at the time of a burial, where the deceased’s family have the option to reserve an adjoining grave, however this is limited to one only.

The pre-purchasing of columbarium wall niches or Garden of Memories sites is permitted at any time on receipt of a completed cemetery application form and payment of such – please refer to our ashes interment options for more information.

What is a deed or certificate of right of burial?

A deed or certificate of right of burial is a legal document issued by council as the proof of purchase and ownership of a grave/niche/site.  The holder/owner of the deed has the right to say who can be buried in the grave or niche, is responsible for the maintenance of the grave and has the right to authorise the installation of a monument, plaque or headstone on the piece of land or niche in accordance with council’s cemeteries policy and local law policies. If you hold a deed, it is recommended you keep this in a safe place such as with your solicitor.

I've lost my deed – how do I obtain a copy?

If you have lost your certificate of right of burial, council can provide you a copy on the payment of the prescribed fee.  Should you need to request a copy, you must submit such a request in writing including your full name and address; this can be lodged in person at our customer service centre or alternatively you can email council@mackay.qld.gov.au

Can I sell or transfer my burial rights?

As per council’s cemetery policy, burial rights cannot be sold.

Should you be a burial rights holder of a vacant/reserved plot or niche that you no longer require, there are two options available to you:

  • You can transfer your burial rights to another person or family member.  You can do so by submitting a written request in writing ensuring you include the full details of the person whom you wish to transfer the rights to including their full name and postal address.  There is a fee applicable to the transfer of burial rights.
  • You may surrender your reserved plot or niche back to council. Council may re-purchase your reserved plot or niche.  As per council policy:
    • For those purchased more than 10 years ago – 70 per cent of the original purchase price will be refunded.
    • For those purchased less than 10 years ago – 80 per cent of the original purchase price will be refunded.

Should you wish to surrender your reserved plot or niche back to council, you must submit this request in writing to council. Upon receipt of such, your request will be reviewed and a council officer will contact you regarding the outcome.

For further information regarding the above information, please refer to council’s cemetery policy, or alternatively contact council.

How do I arrange an ashes interment into an existing plot or into a columbarium wall or garden of memories?

For information on interring ashes in council cemeteries, please refer to ashes interment options

I want to erect a headstone or monument – how do I do this?

Council does not supply or install headstones or monuments (including lawn plaques). Should you wish to have a headstone or monument installed on a plot, you can engage the services of a qualified stonemason.  In order to authorise the installation, you must be the burial rights holder, or have the express permission of the burial rights holder.  A stonemason will then liaise with council on your behalf including the council application process.  There are two stonemasons in our region.

They are:

Please refer to our monument fact sheet for further information or contact council.

Who is responsible for the maintenance of a grave?

The burial rights holder is responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the grave and any monument or headstone on such grave.

Are temporary monuments permitted?

Temporary monuments may be permitted in certain cemeteries and sections;

  • Mount Bassett Cemetery – Beam sections; temporary grave ornaments permitted for no more than eight weeks, and must be placed only on the concrete beam area.
  • Mackay, Walkerston, Marian, Mirani and Sarina cemeteries; Temporary monuments only, such as a simple wooden cross bearing the deceased name is permitted for no more than six months.

NOTE: The planting or maintenance of any trees, shrubs or plants in any council cemetery is strictly prohibited under Local Laws.