The cost of a burial in Warrnambool has jumped by about 20 per cent with the move to a new cemetery on Hopkins Point Road.
Warrnambool Cemetery Trust chair Sheryl Nicolson said the increase in price was required by the State Government, based on costs of a burial, which included perpetual maintenance.
She said smaller cemeteries may be able to charge less due to having fewer costs, especially for employing staff.
The trust chair said the bigger the cemetery, the bigger the costs, mainly due to staff.
Tooram Memorial Park, on Hopkins Point Road, is on 22.65 hectares of land and was bought by the Warrnambool Cemetery Trust in 2014 after it was identified a new cemetery was needed due to limited space at the old Otway Road site.
Ms Nicolson said there was quite a complex mathematical equation involved in working out the cost of perpetual maintenance.
"We have to take into account staffing, equipment and maintenance, the cost of the land and services such as electricity - everything that goes into running a business," she said.
"We are a not-for-profit organisation, so we're not in it to make money, it's basically to reimburse running the business.
"The prices went up due to the requirements of the State Government."
Ms Nicolson said additional costs, such as having to buy new land due to capacity, were a major expense for cemetery trusts.
"How much is it going to purchase a piece of land elsewhere? Those costs have to be within the charges to the public," she said.
"Fortunately the cost of land here is much less than land in other places, such as Melbourne.
"With Warrnambool reaching capacity and the purchase of the new land, the prices had to go up. It's gone up about 20 per cent."
The current costs of a burial at Tooram Memorial Park is $1925 for a plot and $1230 for a burial - a total for one person of $3155.
The previous costs as of July 1, 2019, was $1370 for a plot and $1190 for a burial - a total of $2560.
It's understood that costs for other cemeteries, such as Tower Hill, are considerably less.
Ms Nicolson said while there were no new plots at Warrnambool, there were allowances for interments that were already purchased at the old cemetery.
She said there had been a number of issues with the new cemetery site, such as flooding and drainage.
Tooram opened mid-last year and where the initial burials were taking place there were water pooling issues, which required engineering and drainage works.
"We've also had difficulties hitting clay. We looked at many other sites before deciding on Tooram," she said.
"One of the key requirements was an ability to readily dig at the site, but we have come across clay which has caused issues digging.
"That's an additional cost because it takes workers longer to dig."
The trust chair, who has been on the committee for 19 years, said the organisation was also advertising for new staff, including a manager, groundsman and administration officer.
She said the trust employed the equivalent of between 3.5 and four full-time groundsmen.
"We've had a change of staff due to a variety of reasons, one retiring to travel. It's not unusual when you lose one staff member that causes a disruption and you may lose more than one," she said.
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