Rookwood trust "going about community consultation the wrong way", says councillor

Cr Ross Fowler

Cr Ross Fowler

Cr Ross Fowler has hit back at Rookwood General Cemeteries Reserve Trust after it vowed to forge ahead with plans for a cemetery at Fernhill, despite strong opposition from within Penrith City Council.

Cr Fowler said the Trust - which last week stated it would continue with a due diligence process into the historic Mulgoa estate despite the council moving to outlaw cemeteries and cremetoria in the area - was going about community consultation “the wrong way”.

A meeting to discuss the plans had been arranged by Trust chief executive George Simpson, however was only done after council moved against the plans, Cr Fowler said.

Mr Simpson had criticised councillors for failing to view or discuss the plans.

“Mr Simpson has only just approached council after the debate at the council meeting,” Cr Fowler told the Gazette.

“He talks about community consultation but he’s going about it the wrong way. One would’ve thought he would have approached councillors and given them a presentation before, not after.

Plans: An artist's impression of concept designs for the grass-cell roadways proposed throughout the property.

Plans: An artist's impression of concept designs for the grass-cell roadways proposed throughout the property.

“The only thing I have seen is in your paper and a flyer that was dropped around the community last week inviting people to come to the information sessions.”

Artists impressions of concept designs for various aspects of the proposed cemetery have been released, including a state-of-the-art condolence and reflection centre, grass-cell raodways throughout the estate, and sandstone monuments to be used on 10 per cent of land available for use.

Rookwood General Cemeteries Reserve Trust is holding a series of public meetings throughout August, and those wishing to attend can register through the website at www.rookwoodcemetery.com.au/fernhill-estate-community-meetings.

Cr Fowler said the issue was worrying.

“I think one would have to be worried about it if that’s their attitude,” he said. “They want to do what they want to do without consulting in the appropriate manner.”