Officials prepare for shake-up of cemetery sector

An artist’s impression of Macarthur Memorial Park, a 136,000 plot multifaith cemetery planned for Sydney’s west (CMCT)

Church officials running cemeteries and crematoriums in New South Wales are preparing for a significant shake-up of the sector, with the Berejiklian Government set to release two reports into the industry. Source: Sydney Morning Herald.

Cemeteries are facing a critical shortage in burial sites, as well as pricing issues with consumers at most NSW sites paying more for burial plots and interment than neighbouring states.

Catholic officials have made representations to Premier Gladys Berejiklian regarding the reports, on behalf of the Catholic Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust. The trust is one of the state’s largest operators, and manages five cemeteries on Crown land, including Rookwood in western Sydney.

The trust is waiting for the release of the two reports to determine the implications for a new, highly publicised 136,000 plot multifaith cemetery it will manage in south-west Sydney, which has been beset by multiple planning delays since January.

Other religious leaders representing the Jewish, Muslim, Armenian and Filipino communities who traditionally bury rather than cremate their dead have also been making representations to the Government.

The reviews stand to shake up the sector, including for operators that are vying to solidify existing management rights, as well as tenders for new government sites, and a say in future acquisitions.

A Government spokesperson confirmed the statutory review was close to completion and would soon be considered by cabinet. In regards to representations Ms Berejiklian had fielded from Catholic religious leaders, a spokesperson for Property Minister Melinda Pavey said the consultation process had been extensive.

FULL STORY

Senior church officials prepare for shake-up of cemeteries and crematoriums (By Samantha Hutchinson, Sydney Morning Herald

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