COUNCIL INVESTIGATES OPTIONS FOR INNES GARDENS MEMORIAL PARK CREMATORIUM AND LAWN CEMETERY
To ensure the best possible ongoing crematorium and lawn cemetery services for the community, Port Macquarie-Hastings Council is investigating options and testing market interest in the potential sale or lease of the Innes Gardens Memorial Park Crematorium and Lawn Cemetery.
The facility was established in 1984, providing a range of crematorium, cemetery and memorialisation services to the community. It is located at Philip Charley Drive in Port Macquarie, and is owned and operated by Council.
In October 2018, Council resolved to seek formal expressions of interest from providers of funeral, cemetery, crematoria and related services, to explore the potential sale or long term lease of either the entire Innes Gardens Crematorium and Lawn Cemetery or the Crematorium alone.
The decision follows a Council-wide service review project aimed at ensuring Council continues to deliver ‘best value’ across a broad range of services, meeting the needs of the growing community.
Director, Rebecca Olsen said that Council acknowledges the importance of, and sensitivities surrounding cremation and burial services.
“We want to assure the community that first and foremost our focus will be on ensuring that our loved-ones are looked after, and if Council were to enter into a sale or lease arrangement in the future, that party would be required to provide for the perpetual care, protection and management of existing burial and cremation remains,” said Ms Olsen.
“Ongoing services must continue to be delivered to the standard required by the community, and this testing of the market aims to explore all options, securing the long-term sustainability of the Innes Gardens Memorial Park facility.”
Council’s service review highlighted a number of emerging risks in continuing to operate the crematorium and lawn cemetery service, including increasing competition from the private sector and declining market share and profitability.
The potential benefits offered by the private sector to further improve and expand the range of facilities and services available for the community were also highlighted.
In considering the risks and potential benefits, Council decided to test market interest in the facility and have engaged experienced industry advisers to assist with the industry-specific elements of the process.
“At this stage Council has only resolved to seek formal proposals to determine market interest, and any decision to proceed beyond this stage will be subject to further formal consideration by Council,” added Ms Olsen.
“Should a sale or lease agreement be entered into, Council will retain ongoing service obligations to the community for the day-to-day and in perpetuity management of other cemeteries across the region.”
Dated 19th March 2019
Contact:Port Macquarie-Hastings Council Media Contact: Andy Roberts or Brent Ryan Phone 0412 769 454