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Report Details


Committee Name:

Public Administration and Finance Committee (2001 - 2005)

House:

Legislative Council
Report Type:Report

Title:

Transfer of Management of Fremantle Cemetery to the Metropolitan Cemeteries Board
Report No:4
No of Pages:30
Physical Location:Legislative Council Committee Office

Presentation Date:

12/10/2003
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Inquiry Name(s): [Transfer of Management of the Fremantle Cemetery to the Metropolitan Cemeteries Board


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Hide details for Executive SummaryExecutive Summary

1On May 13 2003, the Government announced that the management of the Fremantle Cemetery would be transferred to the Metropolitan Cemeteries Board from July 1 2003. All metropolitan cemeteries are now managed by one single entity.


2On September 17 2003, the Legislative Council directed the Standing Committee on Public Administration and Finance (Committee) to inquire into and report on the transfer, from July 1 2003, of management of the Fremantle Cemetery to the Metropolitan Cemeteries Board.


3In addressing each of the terms of reference established by the Legislative Council for the inquiry, the Committee observes the following:


a) When the Metropolitan Cemeteries Board was established to manage cemeteries in the metropolitan area the Fremantle Cemetery was not included in its responsibilities. The Fremantle Cemetery Board was established to manage the Fremantle Cemetery.


b) Both the Fremantle Cemetery Board and the Metropolitan Cemeteries Board were in a sound financial position at the time of the decision to transfer management of the Fremantle Cemetery.


c) Whilst the views of key parties on the issue of the management of metropolitan cemeteries had been canvassed previously, in light of the fact that Government had made a decision in July 2002 to retain the Fremantle Cemetery Board, further consultation with the industry, the Fremantle Cemetery Board and the Metropolitan Cemeteries Board on the issue should have been undertaken by the Government.


d) The Committee cannot make a definitive finding in relation to the claims of improved efficiency and elimination of duplication asserted by the Minister for Local Government and Regional Development in support of the decision to transfer management of the Fremantle Cemetery to the Metropolitan Cemeteries Board, against counterclaims of reduced competition and increased costs. Sections 7.1 to 7.5 of the report detail evidence of savings. In the Committee’s view, it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to measure or predict future rises in costs and fees of cemetery services in the current situation, let alone if the transfer of management of the Fremantle Cemetery had not taken place. Based upon the available information, the Committee was unable to make a direct comparison between the range of operations of the former Fremantle Cemetery Board and those of the Metropolitan Cemeteries Board. Each board has differing responsibilities.


e) There is no evidence, at this stage, to conclude that the community served by the Fremantle Cemetery has been either positively or negatively impacted upon as a result of the transfer of management of the Fremantle Cemetery from the Fremantle Cemetery Board to the Metropolitan Cemeteries Board.