The Illawarra's Mercury reports "After a decade of trying, Wollongong City Council has finally announced it will shut down its publicly-operated crematorium at Unanderra by the middle of this year."
The news comes four months after Parsons funerals opened a private facility nearby, which the council says has turned its ageing cremation unit into a drain on the public purse.
The council says the Parsons’ cremator, which planning staff approved despite protests from surrounding business owners in 2017, has caused the number of cremations at the public facility to drop by 63 per cent since February.
“This was a service that made us money, but we have determined that in this new environment we’ll run at a loss,” lord mayor Gordon Bradbery said.
Located at Wollongong Memorial Gardens, the cremator was installed in 1959, when the council was the only crematorium service provider. However, Cr Bradbery said the ageing unit no longer complied with safety and environmental regulations, and could not keep pace with the private facilities.
In the past, the council has estimated that installing a new cremator or upgrading equipment could cost up to $500,000, which Cr Bradbery said could not be justified.