Achievements of Cemeteries & Crematoria NSW 2015-2020

Legislative and regulatory guidance

Implemented the new interment rights system – Part 4 of the Act

CCNSW commenced the new interment rights system from June 2018 and published a range of guides and other resources for industry and consumers.

CCNSW has published industry information including:

  • Guide to the interment rights system in NSW
  • Guide to a cemetery operator’s register
  • Guide to records: certificates and forms
  • Guide to heritage advisory committees
  • Guide to terms used in the interment sector
  • Templates for the interment rights system for cemetery operators
Willow casket

CCNSW has published consumer information including:

  • The General Consumer Guide on interment rights
  • 8 Quick Guides in six languages on various interment topics
  • A register with contact information for religious and community authorities for interment advice that is available on the CCNSW website

Compliance activities

Investigations of cemetery operators

CCNSW conducted and completed two investigations in 2016 and 2018 concerning Crown cemetery operators. One inquiry currently under way involves a third Crown cemetery operator.

Cemeteries and Crematoria Register

CCNSW is required to maintain a register of all cemeteries and crematoria which is continuously updated and publicly available. The register reached a milestone of 1,500 registrations from Crown, local government, private, church and community sectors this year.

Rookwood Cemetery mortuary railway station, was a railway station on Sydney's Rookwood Cemetery railway line.

Compliance with the Cemeteries and Crematoria Act 2013

CCNSW carries out a range of compliance activities with cemetery operators which have been completed on an ongoing basis:

  • Crown Operator Board appointments, annual review of fees and charges and annual reports, gazettal of the Plans of Management Evaluation framework.
  • Management of the consumer complaints system including the policy, register and publication of trends each year.
  • Secretariat and servicing of the Board on a monthly basis

Governance reform

Voluntary Code of Practice for Cemetery Maintenance

Stakeholder engagement

CCNSW established and ensured the functioning of key consultation advisory groups to advise the CCNSW Board. These groups are the:

  • Community and Consumer Consultative Group (CCCG): representing key religious, cultural and advocacy groups and service providers.
  • Industry Consultative Group (ICG); comprising representatives of Crown, local government, private and church cemetery and crematoria operators

Other stakeholder engagement: CCNSW established an eNewsletter to stakeholders; CCNSW staff provided regular presentations at industry conferences and a Part 4 interment rights information sessions were held through key regional centres in the last quarter of 2018.

Way to go cover page

Major projects launch:CCNSW hosted a ‘Major Projects Launch’ on 1 August 2018 at the Justice and Police Museum in Sydney. The purpose of the launch was to enhance and build stronger relationships among CCNSW and its stakeholders as well as promote the CCNSW profile. The launch was attended by cemetery and crematoria operators, local government cemetery operators, key community and religious groups, representatives of other government departments and IPART.

Publication of the Urbis consultancy report “Way to Go”: CCNSW commissioned Urbis to produce a research report looking at people’s views on burials, cremations, funerals and ways to commemorate life.

In 2020 CCNSW participated in Dying to Know Day with consumer awareness-raising education and planning resources launched online.

Cemetery development

Holy Park Robertson cemetery

Cemetery developments

  • CCNSW has undertaken work on developing a framework in assessing cemetery developments and provided submissions of& support for cemetery proposals including Varroville (Catholic Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust), Wallacia (Catholic Metropolitan Cemeteries Trusts) and Fern Hill (Rookwood General Cemetery Reserve Land Manager).


  • Publication of the Metropolitan Sydney Cemetery Capacity Report published by CCNSW in November 2017 following earlier the 2014/15 Activity Report and the 2015/16 Activity Report as well as later the publication of activity reports for 2016/17, 2017/18 and 2018/19. View Activity and Annual reports. CCNSW has continued this data gathering and publication on an annual basis. These critical reports provide a valuable insight into interment practices around NSW and the current and future capacity of cemeteries particularly in Sydney.
  • Publication of the Carolyn Tallent's report, Cemetery Land Use - Contribution to Environmental and Heritage values. CCNSW commissioned this report that highlights that potential Sydney cemeteries have to perform multiple functions by offering shared open green space, protecting native flora and fauna, and supporting heritage and cultural values.