State Government fast-tracks giant cemetery at Scenic Hills

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The NSW Government is working to fix the mess left behind by the former government by fast-tracking the approval of a new 136,000 plot Crown land cemetery at Varroville to help solve Sydney’s impending burial crisis.

When the 113-hectare Macarthur Memorial Park opens in February 2025, it will be a world class, innovative and sustainable cemetery for all religious groups easily accessed by the M5 and M7.

As well as affordable burials, Macarthur Memorial Park will provide 35 hectares of publicly accessible areas, peaceful walking tracks, six lakes, a café, sculpture park, community lawns and boardwalks.

The Catholic Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust is the Crown land manager of Macarthur Memorial Park.

A computer generated image of what the cemetery will look like, and (top) work on the site.

Campbelltown Council, for its part, has opposed the cemetery all along, on the basis that it will disfigure a huge part of the Scenic Hills.

The State Government recently announced it will move to a two-operator model for Sydney’s Crown cemeteries sector.

Three Sydney Crown cemetery managers (Rookwood General, Northern Metropolitan and Southern Metropolitan) will be formally amalgamated into a single operator.

The NSW Government is working across a number of areas to increase cemetery supply, including exploring suitable land for other new cemeteries like Macarthur Memorial Park.

The government is also working with Crown cemetery operators to investigate opportunities to unlock further supply in existing cemeteries, including expanding existing sites where appropriate.

“The former government’s indecision and infighting left Sydney cemeteries in a mess,” says minister for lands and property Steve Kamper.

“Macarthur Memorial Park is the first new Crown cemetery to be built in Sydney in over 80 years.

“Sydney Crown cemeteries are just years away from running out of burial plots, which is why we are getting on with the job, fast-tracking new cemetery space.”

Catholic Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust CEO Lauren Hardgrove said that Macarthur Memorial Park will be an innovative, sustainable multi-denominational memorial parkland destination. 

“There will be modern function spaces to accommodate both intimate gatherings and larger groups surrounded by scenic open landscape,” she said.

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