Why is Council considering selling or leasing Innes Gardens Memorial Park?
Council has undertaken a review to ensure the services we deliver are efficient and effective, taking into consideration long-term financial sustainability and meeting the needs of the community. As part of this review, it was identified that we should look further at the options for delivering the services provided at the Innes Gardens Memorial Park (including the option for the services to be delivered by the private sector).
What would happen to existing burial and cremation remains if Innes Gardens is sold?
What is the process for Council considering this matter?
What are the benefits to the community if Council was to sell Innes Gardens Memorial Park?
Council’s current consideration is aimed at ensuring the best possible ongoing delivery of cremation, lawn cemetery and memorialisation services to our community. The current process will seek to identify if there are potential benefits able to be offered by other operators to improve the current level of service and expand the range of facilities and services available for the community.
Can the land at Innes Gardens be developed for other purposes?
No. The land at Innes Gardens Memorial Park is zoned “SP2 Crematorium” under the Port Macquarie - Hastings Local Environmental Plan (LEP) 2011.
Should Council decide on a sale in the future, Council would seek a binding commitment from any new operator to ensure the ongoing delivery of crematorium, lawn cemetery and memorialisation services at Innes Gardens Memorial Park.
Would Innes Gardens Memorial Park continue to be maintained to the standard expected by the community?
Yes. Council is currently considering proposals from existing providers of funeral, cemetery, crematoria and related services. These organisations currently operate facilities similar to Innes Gardens Memorial Park, ensuring similar high standards of service and maintenance for the communities where they operate.
Would funeral costs increase if Council decides to sell Innes Gardens Memorial Park?
Funeral costs are determined by Funeral Directors independent of the cost of burial and cremation services at Innes Gardens. A sale of Innes Gardens is likely to increase competition in the local market ensuring downward pressure is kept on prices.
Shouldn’t Innes Gardens Memorial Park remain as a public asset?
Crematoria facilities are not something that legally need to be managed by local government. There are very few Council operated crematoria in NSW with most facilities operated by private operators.
Should Council proceed with a proposed sale, we will still retain ongoing responsibility for the day-to-day and in perpetuity management of other cemeteries located across the local government area.
I have recently purchased a reservation at Innes Gardens Memorial Park - will a new operator honour the reservation?
Yes. Council will ensure that reservations (and pre-paid burials) are honoured by a new operator. This would be a condition of sale, should Council decide to proceed with the sale of the facility.
What services are currently provided at Innes Gardens Memorial Park?
Innes Gardens Memorial Park provides a range of crematorium, lawn cemetery and memorialisation services to the community in conjunction with funeral services provided by local Funeral Directors. Innes Gardens is located at Philip Charley Drive Port Macquarie and includes a 150-seat chapel, administration offices, extensive grounds and memorial gardens.
What happens after the consultation period has closed?
Council will consider a further report on Innes Gardens Memorial Park at the Council meeting in August 2019. At that meeting, Council will consider proposals received following the negotiation period, in conjunction with feedback received from the community, to determine whether to proceed with a proposed sale or lease of Innes Gardens Memorial Park.