'It's a nightmare': Sydney's burial shortage persists despite controversial new mega-cemetery

As Australia's major cities continue to grow, there's fierce debate about how to deal with a looming shortage of burial space.  Sydney's cemeteries are nearly full, but

new sites like the one near Campbelltown are facing staunch opposition from locals. As experts note, "nobody wants a cemetery in their backyard". Sydney hasn't built a new

cemetery in half a century, despite its population more than doubling over that period. A 2021 review found Sydney's cemetery capacity would be exhausted by 2051, while some

religious and cultural groups could run out of burial space in as little as three years. Kazi Ali, who chairs the Muslim Cemeteries Board, says the situation is desperate,

as his community searches for more culturally-appropriate burial space. "It's a nightmare. The land we've got available at this point is not going to last for more than

three to four years," Mr Ali said. After running out of room in its own cemetery on Sydney's western outskirts, the Muslim community was offered 4,500 plots at a nearby

Catholic cemetery, but even they were filling up. "It is a situation that is never-ending because people will die, our religion doesn't allow cremation, Jewish doesn't allow

cremation, most of the Catholic doesn't allow cremation, so in that case, you need normal burial lands," Mr Ali said.Major new cemetery 'devastating' for locals Construction

has now begun on a major new cemetery near Campbelltown, which proponents say will go some way in addressing the crisis, but faces staunch opposition from locals. Jacqui

Kirkby is the convenor of the Scenic Hills Association, whose members of residents, farmers and local Carmelite friars fought the development for the last decade.