Cemeteries were usually developed in association with particular churches or as a result of public meetings of concerned citizens. In 1854, an ”Act for the Establishment and Management of Cemeteries in the Colony of Victoria” was passed by the Victorian Government forming the basis of cemetery management as we know it today. The Government had the power to appoint and remove trustees and lend or pay money for the establishment of cemeteries. The trustees were charged with the responsibilities to construct structures and avenues; impose rules and regulations to manage and protect the cemeteries; allow ministers of the major Christian denominations free access and to have their own consecrated section of land; have the right to veto and remove inappropriate vaults and monuments; and to keep accounts and statements.
Under the provisions of the Public Health Act 1889 the Minister for Health and the Department of Public Health became responsible for the management of cemeteries and the responsibility has remained within the Health portfolio since that time.