Last week we linked a couple of opinion articles that were critical of the stoush over the control of Sydney's Crown Land cemeteries. Michael West Media (MWM) reports a PR man for Catholic Church has threatened it with legal action for its coverage of the battle for control of Sydney’s cemeteries.

Callum Foote evaluates the claims of the Catholic Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust and its crisis consultants.

The professional spinners have taken a couple of tacks against MWM’s reporting on the state government’s favourable treatment of the Catholic Church’s cemetery arm amid efforts to shut down critical media coverage. It is understood that other media organisations have also come under pressure.Catholic Crematorium Chapel, Rookwood Cemetery

Following an investigation into the Catholic Church’s push to take control of Sydney’s Crown Cemeteries sector, a public relations person Tim Allerton has threatened legal action claiming “it’s a load of bullshit”.

Following an investigation into the Catholic Church’s push to take control of Sydney’s Crown Cemeteries sector, a public relations person Tim Allerton has threatened legal action claiming “it’s a load of bullshit”.

But in our view, it’s not a load of BS, not even a smidgen.

Tim Allerton, the founder of City Public Relations, claims that the investigation was a result of “faceless bureaucrats” attempting to “to sully the name of a non-profit organisation in the Catholic Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust (CMCT)”.

The CMCT is facing dissolution after NSW government analysis determined that it was financially prudent to amalgamate the five Crown cemetery operators into a single, efficient land manager, OneCrown. In response, the Catholic Church has engaged in an extensive lobbying effort, using key Catholic members of the NSW cabinet to champion their cause and avoid being cut out of operating public cemetery assets. 

Allerton also says that Michael West Media’s allegation that the proposal falls short of ICAC’S Direct Dealing Guidelines is false. The allegation was in fact made by staff at Investment NSW commenting on the last-minute submission, prepared at Tudehope’s insistence.

Under the Catholic proposal, the Catholic Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust is to be dissolved. In its place, the Catholic Metropolitan Cemeteries Land Manager (CMCLM) will be established to satisfy the requirement under the 2016 Crown Lands Management Act that all land managers be “controlled entities” under the government.

However, a company called Catholic Crematoria & Cemeteries (CCC) Ltd will be established underneath CMCLM which will be the ultimate beneficiary of control over $130 million in perpetual maintenance funds and hundreds of millions worth of cemetery assets as CMCLM delegates all operational powers to the Catholic-controlled company.

 The full story & more detail is here.