Attorney-General Elise Archer has rejected suggestions that changes to the Burial and Cremation Act will see a “death tax” introduced.
Ms Archer also criticised the Anglican Church for suggesting it could cost up to $20,000 for Tasmanians to be buried in rural and regional cemetries which amounted to a “death tax.”
“It is disappointing that such an important issue to communities across Tasmania has now become the subject of scaremongering,” she said.
“There is no tax and the reality is that only the church can decide how they price their plots.
“The government expects the Anglican Church would have engaged with the consultation process in good faith.”
Consultation on the draft legislation closes on Sunday October 14.
Ms Archer said all feedback would be considered in the coming weeks.
“It’s important to highlight the Burial and Cremation Act 2002 already requires cemetery managers to maintain the cemetery, allow public access and honour exclusive rights of burial,” she said.
Health Minister Michael Ferguson also ruled out any tax and said the changes to the Act were aimed at giving Tasmanians long term access to burial sites.
Deputy Labor leader Michelle O’Byrne said she believed the changes to the Act could be resolved in parliament.
“It’s a bit rich for the Anglican Church to be coming out now and criticising other people for making money out of this issue,” she said.
Ms O’Byrne said the church wanted to sell far more properties than it needed with only a small part going to the redress scheme for victims of institutional child sexual abuse.
The government plans to have legislation introduced in Parliament before the end of the year.