A controversial 136,000-plot cemetery in Macarthur’s Scenic Hills has been given the green light despite strong opposition from local residents, MPs and the council.
The Joint Regional Planning Panel were expected to make a decision regarding the Catholic Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust’s proposal at the end of last month, but delayed announcing the outcome until today.
Panel chair Mary-Lynne Taylor said the cemetery would “enhance the green hills, rural character and heritage of the area”.
Macquarie Fields MP Anoulack Chanthivong – who first heard of the decision when informed by the Advertiser, strongly disagreed.
“That’s nonsense,” he said.
“A 136,000-plot grave site with chapel, road and signs does not enhance the Scenic Hills, it destroys them.”
Campbelltown MP Greg Warren, who was also first told about the proposal’s approval by the Advertiser, said he was ”flabbergasted”.
“This is disappointing at best and at worst it’s an enormous crying shame,” he said.
“This has been a farcical process that has ultimately treated our community with contempt.
“The discourteous and unprofessional manner that saw the panel not even have the decency to inform the people who advocated against the proposal, speaks volumes.”
Cr George Brticevic – who was re-elected at the weekend’s elections – said it “disgusting” councillors and MPs had not been informed before the press release was issued.
“It’s nice of them to let us know,” he said.
“And what a surprise it came the Monday after the (local government) elections.”
The Scenic Hills is the natural green belt separating the Camden and Campbelltown LGAs.
Fifty-seven submissions against the proposal were received.