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Archbishop Fisher’s appeal for repeal of cemeteries consolidation in NSW


Most Reverend OP Antony Fisher Archbishop of Sydney is appealing for support in repelling an NSW government’s plan to consolidate management of cemeteries in NSW. Here is his letter:

I am writing to ask for your assistance in petitioning the New South Wales Government to reverse a decision to exclude faith and charitable groups from cemetery management.

The Catholic Church has been operating cemeteries in this state for more than 150 years and is trusted by Catholics, as well as Muslims, Jews and others of faith to bury the dead, keep their graves and comfort grieving families.

We have offered solutions that would come at no cost to Government or taxpayer and would address the most significant issues facing Sydney cemeteries, including:

  • a lack of burial space, with many expected to close to new internments in the next decade;
  • the need for sufficient funds to be set aside for the ongoing maintenance of cemeteries; and
  • the need to provide affordable funerals and burials for all people.

Rather than accepting these proposals, Property Minister Melinda Pavey has decided to dismiss all existing operators, and create a new Government bureaucracy to handle cemeteries instead. This so-called solution will take the longest to implement and come at the highest cost. 

I don’t think we can trust a secular bureaucracy that has no experience in providing comfort to grieving families or the management of burial grounds to continue this vital ministry. Caring for the dead and those who love them is not a Government service to be arranged through the Services NSW app; it is a spiritual mission that is at the heart of what we do. 

I need your help in asking the Government to reverse this nonsensical decision.  Please sign the petition at and share it with friends.  Please also consider phoning or writing to your local NSW MP and ask them to petition the Premier and Property Minister to see reason, and to allow our beloved dead rest in peace.

Yours in Christ,

Anthony Fisher