Cemetery opponents to meet with state Heritage Minister over historic Fernhill plans

Cemetery plans: One of the artist's impressions of the Rookwood General Cemeteries Trust's plans for Fernhill Estate.

Cemetery plans: One of the artist's impressions of the Rookwood General Cemeteries Trust's plans for Fernhill Estate.

Opponents of a cemetery proposed for historic Fernhill Estate are due to meet with Heritage Minister Gabrielle Upton next week to express their concerns over the plans.

Mulgoa MP Tanya Davies organised the October 17 meeting for the community representatives, and also brought the issue up in NSW Parliament during sittings this week tabling a petition opposing the development of the cemetery at Fernhill Estate on Tuesday.

The issue was also the leading item in the spring newsletter of the National Trust (NSW), as it cited “deep concern” with “rare, State Heritage Register listed colonial period landscapes … being targeted for cemetery development”.

The Trust has written to Lands Minister Paul Toole urging him to reject the proposal for the sale of Fernhill for use as a cemetery.

“Cemetery Trusts have been empowered to make their own selections and appear to be deliberately focusing on State Heritage Register listed historic landscapes such as Varroville near Denham Court and Fernhill Estate at Mulgoa,” the National Trust article stated.

“These colonial period state significant sites have existing land uses as historic landscapes and that land use is incompatible with redevelopment for cemetery purposes.

“The National Trust (NSW) supports the orderly identification by the NSW government and local government authorities of suitable lands for cemetery development which does not destroy or degrade State Significant Colonial period landscapes.”

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