The Cemeteries & Crematoria Association of NSW is pleased to provide an update to members, colleagues and like minded associations. Although it has been a difficult year due to the COVID-19 pandemic the CCANSW has continued to pursue its mission to support members and the communities, including a successful Conference & Trade Exhibition held in May 2021 :
The last 19 months have been a rollercoaster that made terms like “social distancing,” “mask up” and “the new normal” part of the everyday vocabulary.
The impact of COVID-19 on the bereaved and the bereavement sector continues. At the time of writing (18 August 2021), all regions of NSW are in lockdown and up to 10 people can attend an indoor or outdoor funeral or memorial service or gathering afterwards.
The Association keeps members up to date and informed with the ever-changing COVID-19 information through the CCANSW website featuring a dedicated COVID-19 Information page. There is a section with the latest updates and links from all state and territories. The website has a large number of focused feeds and alerts, particularly from Government sites. This information can be accessed via the CCANSW News page.
We continue to liaise with NSW Health on all COVID-19 issues, seeking clarification and/or interpretation on issues.
After numerous letters to various Members of Parliament, we are pleased to note that the NSW Public Health orders have recognised workers in ‘end of life services including funeral, crematorium and cemetery services, mortuaries and morgues, spiritual or religious services connected to end-of-life services’ as ‘Authorised Workers’. Missing from this listing are our industry’s associated services, such as cremator repairs etc.
We continue to lobby Minister Hazzard, requesting that our industry workforce be given priority for vaccinations and PPE (if normal supply becomes restricted or limited) and that those working in associated services are also recognised as Authorised Workers.
Following the recent AGM, the CCANSW Directors for 2021/2022 are:
The formation of the Board brings to the table a wealth of experience, expertise and knowledge from NSW and ACT cemeteries and crematoria.
A CCANSW Conference and Trade Exhibition was held in Sydney on 27-28 May 2021. The event was attended by 125+ delegates, with 20 exhibits from leading industry suppliers, covering many facets of the industry. The conference featured two days of interesting and topical presentations. Social events gave delegates time to connect with colleagues, share experiences and learn about new ideas.
Where possible, CCANSW records and video’s all conference presentations, with the recordings being made available to all CCANSW members, via the CCANSW web, creating an excellent library resource.
Members can access the presentations here.
Conference photographs can be accessed here.
In recent months, IPART has carried out two reviews, the Review of Interment Costs and Pricing in NSW Cemeteries and most recently, the Review of Competition, Costs and Pricing in the Funeral Industry in NSW. On behalf of its members, CCANSW provided extensive submissions on both reviews.
CCANSW continues to provide education to the sector. Three Cemetery Safety Courses have recently been held, two in regional NSW and one in metropolitan Sydney. Further courses will be held once the COVID-19 lockdown and travel restrictions are lifted.
The Association continues to offer two complimentary registrations to financial CCANSW Category A members to both above mentioned courses. For a number of members, this financial benefit exceeds their yearly membership subscription fee.
Rising Star Award
We would like to acknowledge and congratulate Dominic Smith, Blue Mountains City Council, as the 2021 Rising Star Award recipient. His nomination demonstrates an exceptional work ethic, a consistently high level of passion and enthusiasm, the desire to embrace new challenges and a willingness to learn. As part of his award, Dominic will spend one week at another cemetery learning the ways in which that facility operates and functions.
ATO – GSTD 2021/D2
The ATO has released documentation relating to the proposed retrospective adjustment of the application of GST to the sale of interment rights in cemeteries located on public land.
CCANSW welcomes prospective reductions in GST, as this will benefit the community. However, the implications of retrospectivity for the sector is colossal, with an arduous administrative workload and associated governance issues. The need to make refunds is not the result of cemetery operators inappropriately charging GST. It is due to the ATO’s proposed decision to vary the specific ruling it made in 2012/13. Although limited financial compensation for the administration costs incurred will be available, it will be borne by consumers and is likely to be inadequate, given the historical nature and associated complexity of many of the transactions involved.
As numerous industry operators will be greatly impacted by the proposed changes, CCANSW has lobbied the ATO and Members of Parliament and also participated in workshops seeking urgent support to represent to the ATO that the approach to the adjustment of GST
should be consistent with that adopted in 2020 for WA i.e., no retrospectivity and
should set an appropriate prospective introduction date that enables necessary governance practices and community consultation processes associated with fee adjustments, to be followed e.g., six months lead time.
The CCANSW membership continues to grow. Since our May 2021 report, we acknowledge and welcome new members InvoCare Pty Limited and Chronicle Rip Pty Ltd.
The success of CCANSW is a direct reflection of the commitment of not only our members but also our sponsors. Sponsor support and contribution ensures that the CCANSW can continue its member and government relations activities and leadership as a peak industry Association. During these unusual times, the steadfast support of our sponsors is heartening and more important than ever.
All members are encouraged to support our sponsors by considering them in their purchasing decisions. Our sponsors are industry leaders in their field and are dedicated to the supply of quality goods and services.
Further information about this media release may be obtained by contacting:Mary ReidCCANSW Secretary.