Sale of Innes Gardens Memorial Park Crematorium and Lawn Cemetery
On Wednesday 1 July 2020, Port Macquarie-Hastings Council completed the sale of the Innes Gardens Memorial Park Crematorium and Lawn Cemetery to the new owner, Innes Gardens Memorial Park Holdings Pty Ltd (part of the Walker Funeral Group).
The sale follows the resolution of Council in August 2019 to negotiate terms, and enter into a Contract of Sale for the facility.
Innes Gardens Memorial Park provides a range of crematorium, lawn cemetery and memorialisation services to the community in conjunction with funeral services provided by local funeral directors. It is located at Philip Charley Drive in Port Macquarie, and includes a 150-seat chapel, administration offices, extensive grounds and memorial gardens.
As part of the Contract of Sale, the Walker Funeral Group also committed to invest in capital improvements to the facility within the next 12 months.
In accordance with section 46 of the Cemeteries and Crematoria Act 2013, all existing perpetual Pre-Paid Burial, Right of Burial or Right of Cremation Inurnment previously granted by Port Macquarie-Hastings Council will be transferred and honoured.
Council Director Rebecca Olsen said that the investment by the Walker Funeral Group, which will include the proposed construction of an onsite function centre and general improvements to the existing facility, will ensure the best possible ongoing delivery of cremation, lawn cemetery and memorialisation services to the community.
"Throughout the sale process, Walker Funeral Group has demonstrated its commitment to improving the current level of service and expanding the range of facilities and services available for our community," said Ms Olsen.
"Community consultation identified a number of things that were important to our community, including the continuing operation of the site as a crematorium and lawn cemetery, the ongoing care and protection of existing burial and cremation remains, honouring of existing reservations and pre-paid burials, and the continuation of a high maintenance standard.
"These important items, along with protection of the existing koala habitat on the site, have been addressed through the terms of the Contract of Sale," explained Ms Olsen.
Owners of Walker Funeral Group, David and Melissa Walker said they intend to continue operating Innes Gardens Memorial Park as a public facility.
"We understand the importance of providing the community with access to affordable burial and cremation options, and believe that we can strengthen and improve existing services, by the prudent deployment of capital, offering different styles of memorialisation, and most importantly an integrated refreshments room and café on site," said Mr Walker.
"Operationally we will see minimal change to current processes and procedures, with current staff remaining the same. We have relied on their extensive knowledge and will continue to do so moving forward," Mr Walker said.
"We thank them and Council for their assistance with the transition."
The proceeds of the sale will be placed into a reserve to fund future Council projects and/or services, which are yet to be determined by Council.
Council will continue to manage 11 cemeteries located across the Local Government Area, including the cemeteries at Port Macquarie, Wauchope and Laurieton.
For reservations or arrangements for these cemeteries contact Council on 6581 8111.
The new contact details for Innes Gardens Memorial Park Crematorium and Lawn Cemetery are:
Telephone: 6581 5138