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Sunrise at Rookwood Cemetery in Sydney (Facebook/Catholic Cemeteries and Crematoria)

Catholic Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust has welcomed a ruling by the New South Wales Court of Appeal that confirms its status as a charitable organisation. Source: The Catholic Weekly.

CMCT manages several not-for-profit cemeteries including Rookwood, Liverpool, and Kemps Creek.

It took its complaint to the New South Wales Court of Appeal after the NSW Auditor General Margaret Crawford repeatedly attempted to compel the trust to submit to an investigation over the use of its funds, after advice from Treasury.

The judgement in favour of CMCT is further confirmation of its independence following resolution last year of a dispute with the previous NSW government in which it sought to dismantle the trust and merge it with four under-performing trusts into one government-operated entity.

CMCT chief executive officer Lauren Hardgrove said she was “extremely pleased” with the court’s decision confirming the existence of the charitable trust.

“This has now brought clarity to the situation and enables Catholic Cemeteries to continue to carry on this important corporal work of mercy for the people of Sydney, as we have done so successfully for over 157 years,” she said.

A spokesperson for the Minister for Lands and Property, Steve Kamper, welcomed the decision handed down by the NSW Court of Appeal.

“The department is reviewing the decision to determine appropriate next steps,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

“The minister welcomes the unanimous decision which has provided direction on the matter.”

A February 16 statement by the trust said as a publicly transparent charity since 1902, its audited accounts are provided annually to the Australian Charities and Not for Profits Commission, Cemeteries and Crematoria NSW and the NSW Treasury for review.

“If CMCT had complied earlier with the auditor general’s requests, CMCT would have lost its charitable status, and the general public would have endured higher cemetery prices.”


Court ruling confirms Catholic Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust’s charitable status (By Marilyn Rodrigues, The Catholic Weekly)