Special Reviews
Cemeteries

Interment costs and pricing in NSW

Status
In progress
Start Date
May 2019
End Date
Oct 2020
What

In December 2019, IPART released a report with interim findings and recommendations about costs and pricing of interments in cemeteries.

IPART is also required to investigate competition, cost and pricing factors in the funeral industry as part of this review.  We had planned to commence the funeral component of the review by publishing an issues paper in March 2020.  However, owing to the current effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing requirements on funerals, funeral stakeholders and the funeral industry, we have decided to delay commencement of the review for the time being.

 

Why

There have been significant reforms in the NSW cemetery sector in recent years, including the amalgamation of Crown cemetery trusts and the introduction of the Cemeteries and Crematoria Act 2013. Under this Act, IPART is now required to investigate the costs and the pricing of interment rights.

How

We will conduct a public consultation process and our own research and analysis. 

Interim recommendations

Our key interim recommendations include:

  • Cemetery operators to be required to publish itemised prices using consistent terminology
  • The NSW Government to develop a website to allow people to compare prices from all cemeteries in NSW
  • Giving responsibility to the NSW Government to source new cemetery land in Sydney, not leaving it to individual cemetery operators
  • Cemetery operators to be required to set aside funds for perpetual maintenance once the cemetery is closed to new interments
  • Cemetery operators to have access to a pricing tool IPART has developed, to assist them to set full cost recovery prices for perpetual or renewable tenure interment right.

We will do further work in the following areas:

  • The efficient costs of Sydney metropolitan Crown cemetery operators
  • The extent of "legacy costs" - this is, unfunded future maintenance liabilities attributable to past sales - in existing cemeteries.
What Next

We would like feedback on our interim findings and recommendations.

Submissions to our interim report are due by 28 February 2020.

We will consider feedback and conduct further research before releasing a draft report.

Stakeholders will also have an opportunity to provide input to our review by attending a Public Hearing in mid 2020.

 

 

Key Contact
Jennifer Vincent
Email
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