The "Cemetery Act 1865", which repealed Section 75 of the "Municipal Institutions Act 1864", gave the Governor-in-Council the power to appoint trustees to hold land in trust for the establishment of a public cemetery.
The first Trustees of the Brisbane General Cemetery Trust were appointed on 7 Oct 1870. The Trust held its inaugural official meeting on 18 Oct 1870. The first honorary Trustees were prominent business and political figures: James Cowlishaw, John Hardgraves, William Pettigrew, Samuel Walker Griffith, George Edmondstone, Alexander Raff, John Petrie (Chairman) , Michael Quinlan and Nathaniel Lade. The first burial was that of Queensland's second Governor Samuel Wensley Blackall on 3 Jan 1871, five years before the cemetery's formal opening in 1875.
The "Local Authorities Act 1902" gave the Governor-in-Council the power to proclaim the Local Authorities as Trustees, assuming the management and control of reserves, cemeteries, parks etc in their areas of control. The act also gave Local Authorities permission to take, erect and construct land or buildings to be used for or in connection with cemeteries (S.62)
Trustees had the power to enclose any land granted and conveyed for cemetery purposes, and were responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the cemetery. All rules and regulations, accounts, and notification of the closing of a cemetery were to be published in the Queensland Government Gazette.
The Trust was under the control of the Colonial Secretary (10 Oct 1870 - 6 Aug 1896) and the Home Secretary (6 Aug 1896 - 31 July 1930).
Under the "City of Brisbane Act of 1924" the Brisbane City Council assumed control of all public city cemeteries (established within the city under the "Cemetery Act of 1865"). On 31 July 1930 responsibility for the administration of the Brisbane General Cemetery was formally transferred from the Trust to the Council.