NSW Government take steps to fix cemeteries mess

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The NSW Government has begun addressing the serious challenges around cemeteries and crematoria policy inherited from the previous government.

As a first step, the NSW Minister for Lands and Property Steve Kamper announced a nationwide search to conduct an open recruitment process for a shared Administrator for four of Sydney’s Crown cemetery operators, collectively known as OneCrown.

The future of these four cemetery operators – Northern Metropolitan Cemeteries, Rookwood General Cemeteries, Rookwood Necropolis and Southern Metropolitan Cemeteries – has been in limbo for years due to the failure of the former government to decide their future.

Executive recruitment firm Meritos will undertake the open recruitment process for the Administrator.

“We’re looking for someone with commercial acumen and solid experience in people leadership, governance, financial and risk management to help us take the sector forward,” Mr Kamper said.

Rookwood cemetery. Photo: Janie Barrett Jem/ Sydney Morning Herald.

“In a return to more normal government practices, the role will be advertised nationally so the market can be properly tested and the best available candidate identified. The current administrator has been invited to apply.

“For two years this process has been marred by procrastination and infighting, while the supply of available grave sites dwindled to alarming levels.

“I’m determined to provide a fresh start for our cemetery sector and to reassure the people of Sydney they will continue to have access to quality burial services.”

Mr Kamper said he will move swiftly to provide direction and certainty to the cemeteries and crematoria sector by:

  • Publicly releasing the independent report into OneCrown. This report, prepared by O’Connor Marsden and Associates, is being finalised now for the Minister’s review.
  • Completing an audit into the supply of cemetery space in Sydney.
  • Deciding on the amalgamation of the OneCrown operators to ensure they have a transparent and clear roadmap for the future, and moving towards a two public operator model for cemeteries in NSW.

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