Catholic Cemeteries + Crematoria (CCC) has gained approval from the Land and Environment Court of NSW for its development proposal to alleviate Sydney’s urgent need for burial space.
The court’s approval will allow a memorial park in Wallacia to be developed to ensure supply of burial space for all Sydney community groups. Many religious denominations’ who favour burial over cremation, estimated at 30 per cent of the population are facing acute shortages in the next few years.
CCC plans to provide 27,000 affordable burial spaces in stage one, which will increase to 40,000 spaces by 2050 while committing to create public access to parkland areas, on the site of the current loss-making Wallacia Golf Course.
The CEO of CCC Peter O’Meara said, “We are conscious of the urgent need for affordable burial spaces so families and communities can bury loved ones in accordance with their religious customs and beliefs. We already have strong expressions of interest from many religious and community groups with whom we are in regular contact.”
NSW Jewish Board of Deputies CEO Vic Alhadeff commented, “The Jewish community is pleased that this approval has happened, and we look forward to both Wallacia and Macarthur Memorial Parks proceeding as soon as practicable.”
Muslim Cemeteries Board President Kazi Ali said, “In this holy month of Ramadan, this is great news for the Muslim community, CCC is working closely with other faiths to ensure there is sufficient burial space in Sydney for the future”.
Chairman of CCC The Hon Greg Smith SC said, “The trust identified the shortage of Sydney burial space highlighted in the NSW Government’s Statutory Review Report would make burials unaffordable for some sections of the community.”
“The development in Wallacia will complement Macarthur Memorial Park in south west Sydney, that has been shovel ready for over 12 months and will provide an immediate answer to Sydney’s critical burial shortage.”
“We are in positive dialogue with the NSW Government to provide the green light so both projects can commence without further delay,” added Mr Smith.
The Wallacia and Macarthur Memorial Parks will not look like traditional cemeteries but will follow the latest overseas trends in creating beautiful landscaped open space for all in the community to enjoy, with discreet landscaped ‘rooms’ for burial sites without intrusive headstones.
The court’s approval will allow CCC to significantly upgrade the golf course, which will reduce from 18 holes to 9 holes, with a re-design and improved layout suited to all grades of golfers.
CCC will immediately proceed to sell a small portion of the golf club land to St Johns Park Bowling Club, a leading club operator, which will invest in multiple sporting and recreational facilities, including a $10 million upgrade to the clubhouse, which is subject to a separate development application.
St Johns Park Bowling Club Group CEO, David Marsh, welcomed the court’s decision and expects the new club house will become a social hub for the whole Wallacia community.