The Statutory Review by the NSW Government into the NSW Cemeteries Act 2013 recently produced the 11th Hour Report. A link to this report is here – 11th Hour Report
ACCA has written to all council-based ACCA members and also all NSW Local Government association members about the concerns that this report raises for all council based cemetery operators and those operating crematoria in NSW. Please see the attached summary sheet, which highlights some of these concerns.
It is important not to confuse this Statutory Review into the NSW Cemeteries ACT with the IPART review into the Costs and Pricing of Interment in NSW. These are two very separate and distinctly different reviews.
The letters ACCA sent to council based cemeteries regarding the concerns within the 11th Hour Report (particularly the introduction of a mandatory Perpetual Maintenance Fund as has been recommended) have brought about many responses, and below are some examples of the comments and concerns raised in these responses:
…..As you would be aware local government cemeteries are generally funded by communities with
through Council revenues. To have local communities potentially fund the profiting of private
cemeteries as well as funding other Council run cemeteries is not something this Council can
….Council reiterates that it does not support the establishment of a Perpetual Maintenance Fund, nor a levy for an interment industry scheme. These would put unacceptable costs back onto Council, particularly small rural councils.
…..To require Council to comply with payment into a reserve fund for maintenance, will require increases to burial plot fees as Council cannot absorb this cost. These additional costs may make burial in local cemeteries unaffordable for local families. This will result in negative impact from the community towards Council as traditionally it has always been the family's responsibility to maintain the grave, and it is questioned why is this being altered.
ACCA will continue to monitor the situation in respect of the 11th Hour Report and this wider review, and will continue to represent members' interests to achieve the fairest and best outcome possible. You can view the ACCA Discussion paper below.
Chief Executive Officer, ACCA