Burials, cremations a lot pricier

Katoomba cemetery

Katoomba cemetery

Dying - or, more specifically, being buried or cremated - is about to get a whole lot more expensive in the Mountains if council fees rises are embraced.

A draft report on fees and charges for 2020-21 suggests substantially lifting fees for everything from interment fees to maintenance of graveyards to placing ashes plaques.

The rises - from 1.37 per cent (for maintenance contribution in a standard graveyard plot) to 265 per cent (for a burial licence renewal fee) - are significant, the report notes.

"The fee increases for the burials and ashes placement service reflect a move to full cost recovery, which has resulted in five burial fees being increased by $360 and the addition of two new fees for monumental work and grave pegging."

The recommended new charges for burials are:

  • Burial licence $270 (up 1.9%)
  • Burial licence renewal $100 (up 265%)
  • Interment/burial fee - small plot $1,000 (up 56%)
  • Burial fee in standard plot (single depth) $2,410 (up 18%)
  • Burial fee in standard plot - first burial in double depth $2,850 (up 14%)
  • Burial fee in standard plot - second burial in double depth (with no monumental work or headstone or plinth only) $1,540 (up 31%)
  • As above but with monumental masonry in place $1,890 (up 24%)
  • Monumental work installed by council $716.10 (new fee)
  • Maintenance contribution in graveyard for standard plot $1,480 (up 1.37%)
  • Grave pegging fee $55 (new fee).

In cemeteries, the rises generally are less steep, all around 2 per cent, apart from the ashes plaque placement fee which has risen 13% to $425.

Other fees imposed for placing ashes in council cemeteries are proposed to be:

  • Ashes reservation fee $270 (Springwood, Katoomba, Faulconbridge, Blackheath and Mt Irvine cemeteries) (up 2%)
  • Ashes plot fees in a memorial garden plot or ashes walk plot (in above cemeteries) $785 (up 2%)
  • Interment fees per plaque and engraving on walls three and four and the memorial garden at Katoomba cemetery $460 (up 2%)
  • Interment fees for maintenance contribution $480 (up 2%)
  • Search of cemetery archives (48.50 (up 2%)

Fees for domestic waste services will also be lifted well above the CPI.

The proposed new charges have been calculated for "full cost recovery", the report said.

"All waste charges are set by council to cover the cost of domestic waste collection services, waste processing/disposal, landfill, education, communications and provision for future waste service planning."

The new annual charges planned are:

  • Standard domestic waste service $448.80 (up 9%)
  • Large recycling $448.80 (up 9%)
  • Large garbage $616.80 (up 11.5%)
  • Small recycling $448.80 (up 9%)
  • Large garbage and recycling $651.30 (up 11%)
  • Vacant land $155 (up 8%)

The draft fees and charges plan for 2020-21 will be on public exhibition from May 29-June 25.