Member for Macedon, Mary-Anne Thomas, says the Andrews Labor Government will protect the ashes of Victoria’s war veterans.

Ms Thomas met with the President of the Romsey-Lancefield RSL Club, Reinhard Goschiniak, on Friday to share the timely news.

“As we mark the centenary of the Gallipoli landing this year, we’re making sure our veterans are treated with the dignity they deserve,” Ms Thomas said.

“These men and women fought for our country and deserve to have their remains kept in perpetuity.”

Currently, ashes may be scattered when family members cannot be contacted after a designated period of time, generally 25 years.

Under the Cemeteries and Crematoria Amendment (Veterans Reform) Bill 2015 introduced to Parliament by the Government, cemetery trusts will extend the limited interment tenure of war veterans’ ashes and ensure their remains are held in perpetuity.

The Bill will also enable the cemetery trust of Lancefield Cemetery to relocate veterans’ remains and ensure they are not separated from their family members.

Extensive consultation was undertaken to develop this legislation, which is strongly supported by veterans and the Returned and Services League. The legislation was introduced in to the previous Parliament but unfortunately wasn’t brought on for debate by the former Liberal Government.

The Andrews Labor Government has introduced this legislation because we want to ensure our war heroes are given the respect they deserve, forever.

These changes are particularly poignant this year, as Victorians mark the centenary of the ANZAC landing at Gallipoli and pay tribute to the sacrifices of our heroic war veterans.

“I’ve written to RSL Clubs throughout Macedon to update them on these changes. I know it will mean so much to them,” Ms Thomas said.