On Solid Ground

 

The growth and stability of Southern Metropolitan Cemeteries NSW, now and into the future.

A report has been tabled in NSW parliament which relates to last years review of cemeteries in NSW. In reviewing the report Southern Metropolitan Cemeteries NSW (SMCNSW) are disappointed with the number of inaccuracies that have been stated about SMCNSW and our two current sites.

The report states that Eastern Suburbs Memorial Park (ESMP) will close in a few years. This is not accurate and we are continuing to find ways to expand the number of graves at our sites and to utilise our land better – stretching the life of our parks over the next 20 or more years. 

Our ongoing project at Bumborah Point, with the support of La Perouse Aboriginal Land Council is progressing well. This project could be delivering burials within a matter of months once planning approvals are in place. The Bumborah Point project adds a further 20 years to the life of ESMP and importantly will deliver a dedicated area for members of the local Aboriginal community – affording them an opportunity to be buried on country.

The report makes an assertion that Woronora Memorial Park (WMP) will close in a similar time frame. This again is not the true position - we have approximately 20 years of burial stock under development.

In addition to our improved utilisation projects at each site, our expansion project at ESMP, and our continuing release of existing plots at both sites, we also have an estimated 40 years of ash interment space, and near unlimited capacity for ash scattering. As both our sites have crematoria, we will continue to operate long after burial of full remains comes to an end, which, of course, it may never reach if the proposed renewables model is implemented and operating effectively.

In terms of our capacity to provide interment of various types, we may never close.

SMCNSW are actively engaged with our regulator, local councils and Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) to ensure the correct information about our parks is shared and understood. This includes work on a range of reforms regarding improvements to access, affordability for burial plots and the delivery of funeral services.

The report is disappointing and a missed opportunity to progress working with communities for much needed reform in our sector.

SMCNSW are committed to moving forward in collaboration with the NSW Government.