In response to a critical shortage of grave sites in Sydney, the NSW Minister for Lands and Property Steve Kamper has today announced he will amalgamate the three Crown cemetery managers – Rookwood General, Northern Metropolitan and Southern Metropolitan – to create a single entity that can get on with the job of increasing the supply of graves.
The new entity will be named the Metropolitan Cemeteries and Crematoria Land Manager (MCC) and is in line with the government’s commitment to establish a two-operator model for Crown cemeteries in Sydney.
A new audit into Sydney’s Crown cemeteries commissioned by the NSW Government has revealed multiple religious groups are set to run out of burial space in less than three years, highlighting the damage caused by years of indecision and infighting under the former government.
The audit was conducted across five Sydney cemeteries managed by OneCrown – Frenchs Forest, Macquarie Park, Rookwood, Eastern Suburbs Memorial and Woronora.
The audit found the supply of graves for the Armenian and Antiochian Orthodox faiths will exhaust in three years, as will the supply of graves for Muslim burials.
The Eastern Orthodox faith, which includes Greek Orthodox, will run out of graves in four and a half years.
Burial is the only interment practice available to people of the Muslim and Orthodox faiths.
The MCC will be tasked with addressing the serious challenges facing the Sydney cemetery and crematoria sector and ensuring respectful and affordable burial and cremation services remain available for all.
The MCC will be governed by a new skills-based board which will provide stable leadership, more efficient practices and a strategic long-term vision for the future of the industry.
“The independent report that was released last month highlighted the disaster that the previous government created through indecision and infighting. We will not make the same mistakes,” Minister Kamper said.
“We have listened to the experts, we conducted an audit to get a clearer picture of the problems, and now we have acted.
“This merger will provide certainty for the industry, staff and consumers and a clear path to better manage our cemeteries so that the city’s burial needs are met and we can identify new efficiencies.”