Push to delay Scenic Hills cemetery decision

Greenery: The Scenic Hills (pictured) act as natural border between Camden and Campbelltown local government areas. Picture: Jeff de Pasquale

Greenery: The Scenic Hills (pictured) act as natural border between Camden and Campbelltown local government areas. Picture: Jeff de Pasquale

Next Thursday has been marked as D-Day for a decision on the controversial 136,000-plot cemetery in the Scenic Hills.

However, that decision will be delayed if Campbelltown Council can convince NSW Planning Minister to defer the matter.

The Joint Regional Planning Panel are set to meet and give the thumbs up or thumbs down to the proposed Macarthur Memorial Park.

The fact the JRPP – the planning body that will become obsolete in a few months and be replaced by the Greater Sydney Commission – was presiding over the matter, was the biggest sticking point for Cr George Brticevic (Labor).

“I don’t think it’s appropriate for a panel that’s soon to be defunct to make decisions (like this) because they won’t be accountable,” he said.

Cr Rudi Kolkman (Labor) said the it was obvious the NSW Government had lost faith in the JRPP.

“The government said there will be a new system (introduced) so logic must mean the government is not happy with how the current system is working,” he said.

“The members of the panel certainly won’t be accountable (for the decision) once they disappear.”

Cr George Greiss said it was not appropriate that a decision regarding a proposal as big as the cemetery was made given the council was in caretaker mode.

“Council will be in caretaker mode so the people of Campbelltown won’t have any representation there,” he said.

“At least one member has to go in there and fight for what’s right.”

Campbelltown Council has repeatedly expressed it’s opposition to the proposal in the region’s green belt.

Local residents and MPs have been highly critical of the concept.

Despite the opposition, the applicant – the Catholic Metropolitan Cemetries Trust – has not wavered in its desire to establish the cemetery.

Should the meeting go ahead, it will be held on Thursday, August 25 from 5pm and Campbelltown Civic Centre.

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