Do I Have To Get Permission To Scatter Ashes?

How to memorialise someone we love and care about after they pass away can sometimes be a tricky thing. There are lots of emotions when someone passes away and it understandable that trying to do the “right” thing is not only an important decision but also one that can weigh heavily on the mind. It is important to remember that honouring someone doesn’t have to be done straight after the service, it can be done at a later date when some of that initial grief has passed.

Memorialising someone doesn’t have to be with a plaque at a cemetery, it could be at a place that held meaning for that person and everyone around them. Somewhere that people could come and sit and remember the special and happy times that happened there. Scattering a loved one’s ashes at a favourite place is a wonderful way to memorialise them, and I think its almost as if you’re setting them free in a place which gave them so much joy.

Do you need permission to scatter someone’s ashes? The answer to that is varied. Usually no, scattering ashes doesn’t require permission or a permit, however there are some exceptions.

A loved one might have wanted their ashes scattered where they grew up as a child, if that property was no longer owned by the family then yes you would need to get permission from the landowner. Without the consent from the landowner, technically, fulfilling those wishes could be considered as trespass to property. While that could be a memorable experience its probably not the right way to memorialise someone.

Maybe your loved one was an avid beach goer – loved and lived on the ocean. There really isn’t anything much more fitting than returning them to a place they loved so much. Depending on where you want to scatter the ashes at sea, usually, no permits would be required. The only exception to that would be if where you wanted to scatter the ashes is in a Commonwealth marine area that had been declared a Commonwealth reserve, then you would need to follow the requirements of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Regulations and obtain a permit. Otherwise there are no other permits or rules that you would need to get approval for. Hiring a boat specifically to scatter the ashes and making a specific trip would be a lovely way to honour their memory, a remembrance service could also be done on the boat before the ashes are scattered.

Another option would be scattering ashes in the bush or rainforest setting. Your loved one might have been an avid bush walker or bird watcher. There are some phenomenal walking tracks that lead to the most spectacular views here in Queensland and scattering ashes at one of these points may be a great way to memorialise them. The same rules apply with at sea scattering, if the park has been declared a Commonwealth reserve then seek approval for a permit. If it is a park run by Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, then no permit is required.

Scattering tubes make dispersing the ashes a memorable experience and your Funeral Director will be able to prepare that for you. A full range of scattering tubes can be found here

I think scattering ashes is a great way to return your loved one to the elements and can be done in a way that’s completely fitting to their personality. Would you scatter your loved one’s ashes? Would you like your ashes to be scattered?

If you have questions about scattering ashes or questions about funerals in general, why not get in touch with us on 1300 043 522 or email [email protected]

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