As we look back on what has probably been a difficult year for most, the Cemeteries & Crematoria Association of NSW (CCANSW) can nevertheless report that it has been able to continue to coordinate and deliver its training programme and that it has scheduled a conference & trade exhibition for May 2021. It has also delivered its commentary in relation IPART's – Review of Interment Costs and Pricing in NSW Cemeteries and Review of Competition Costs and Pricing in the Funeral Industry. The Association's membership continues to grow and, as always, the CCANSW is extremely grateful for the generous support provided by it's sponsors.
We are pleased to advise that CCANSW is now able to return to offering face to face Cemetery Safety Courses. Our first course is being held in Moama on 2 – 3 December 2020, with additional courses scheduled to be held in Dubbo on 10 & 11 March 2021 and Sydney on the 16 & 17 March 2021.
The Association continues to offer two free Cemetery Safety Course registrations from a CCANSW financial Full member for the financial year ending 30 June 2021. For a number of members, this benefit covers their yearly membership subscription fee.
Preparations are underway for the 27 & 28 May 2021 Conference and Trade Exhibition, to be held at the Crown Plaza Sydney Coogee Beach. Our fingers are crossed that the management of COVID-19 will continue through May 2021 and events will be back to the new norm (whatever that is), with people eager to participate in in-person education, networking and the viewing of new products.
The Crowne Plaza Sydney Coogee Beach has been chosen as they are a COVID Safe business, as verified with NSW State Government. They have expanded their commitment to cleanliness by using new science-led protocols and service measures, partnering with industry leading experts Cleveland Clinic, Ecolab and Diversity and launching a global IHG Clean Promise. They are also providing COVID Safe meeting technology, allowing us to get back to business.
Along with COVID Safe business, the venue is situated overlooking Coogee Beach, just a short drive from the airport and within easy reach of the city.
This will be a premier industry event, providing interesting speakers with on point presentations, learning and networking opportunities, knowledge exchange, great social events and exceptional product displays. The Trade Exhibition is held every two years…don’t miss it, mark this date in your diary now.
Also, if you are interested in presenting a paper at this conference, please contact Mary Reid.
During the year IPART has released a number of Issues Papers/Interim Reports in relation to the industry, interment costs and pricing. In June 2019, responding to an early Issues paper, CCANSW lodged a detailed submission.
In December 2019, IPART released an Interim Report. CCANSW responded to it and had meetings with IPART representatives to discuss issues and assist with the enquiry.
The Interim Report demonstrated an understanding of the complexities of the sector. It clearly acknowledges the challenges associated with legacy issues, the lack of perpetual maintenance funding and the need for more transparency and consistency within information for client families and approaches to fee determination.
IPART progressed investigations, with a particular focus upon the cost of adult lawn burial and the related operational costs of the four major Sydney Crown Land Cemetery Managers. In September 2020, IPART released another Draft Report and CCANSW has responded to it.
CCANSW remains supportive of IPART’s desire to recommend changes to the interment industry that should deliver interment prices that are affordable and equitable for all, allow for the financially sustainable operation of cemeteries into the future and are simple and transparent so that people can make informed decisions about interment choices at a difficult time.
CCANSW has also noted that the name of the Statutory Authority under the Act, Cemeteries and Crematoria NSW (CCNSW), is creating confusion, as its name (and acronym) is so similar to that of the Association (CCANSW). The Association’s name has been in continuous use since 1965.
CCANSW acknowledges that IPART’s work is ground-breaking, both in the breadth of investigation and its endeavour to apply economic pricing principles to aspects of the cemetery industry. Whilst the public perception is that the delivery of cemetery services requires quite a simple business model, in reality there are many levels of complexity.
In October 2020, IPART released another Issue Paper in relation to competition, costs and pricing within the funeral industry. It sets out IPART’S proposed approach to reviewing aspects of the funeral industry. At the time of writing this report, CCANSW is preparing its response.
CCANSW acknowledges that a number of different pieces of legislation and regulations impact the funeral industry. From a practical perspective however, there is also merit in having one central authority responsible for ensuring compliance. This could assist cemeteries, crematoria and funeral directors to better understand regulatory requirements and respond more easily to related requests for information. Client families would also have a focal point, rather than having to deal with a variety of government departments.
The CCANSW membership continues to grow, with members encompassing approximately 58% of all cemeteries and crematoria in NSW. CCANSW is a unified voice of cemetery and crematoria managers in NSW/ACT, representing metropolitan and regional Crown Land Reserve Trusts, Councils, private operators, churches and parishes. In addition to cemetery and crematoria operators, CCANSW’s membership includes organisations providing services to the cemetery and crematoria sector such as funeral directors, monumental masons, foundries, consultants, software and mapping companies, architects and landscape designers.
CCANSW is pleased to welcome a new member Daniel Woods Funeral Care. Daniel Woods Funeral Care is a family owned business, operating a number of funeral homes and a crematorium, with their head office based in Wagga Wagga.
The success of CCANSW is a direct reflection of the commitment of not only our members but also our sponsors. Sponsor support and contribution ensures that the CCANSW can continue its member and government relations activities and leadership as a peak industry Association. During these difficult times, the steadfast support of our sponsors for the Association is heartening and more important than ever.
All members are encouraged to support these sponsors by considering them in their purchasing decisions. The sponsors are industry leaders in their field and are dedicated to the supply of quality goods and services.
For more information about this article and matters relating to the CCANSW. please contact the Secretary, Mary Reid.