Cemeteries boss dumped after radio call

Coastal walkway and Waverley cemetery.
A Sydney cemeteries boss says she wasn’t aware her role had been replaced until she received a call to appear on radio. Picture: Supplied.

The administrator for NSW’s cemeteries says she didn’t find out she had been sacked until she was approached to appear on radio on Tuesday morning.

OneCrown administrator Lee Shearer, who oversaw more than 404 hectares of crown land, will be replaced by Property Council of Australia boss Ken Morrison. Announced at about 6am on Tuesday by NSW Land and Property Minister Steve Kamper, Mr Morrison will inherit the new role of Metropolitan Cemeteries and Crematoria (MCC) administrator.

The managerial reshuffle comes after an audit of OneCrown’s five Sydney cemeteries found that multiple religious groups in Sydney would run out of burial space in less than three years.

Lee Shearer
Lee Shearer will remain as the OneCrown administrator until this Friday. Picture: Supplied

Ms Shearer said she was unaware her position had been replaced prior to being asked to appear on 2GB by Ben Fordham’s team. Fordham also said he didn’t know Ms Shearer had not been told prior to contacting her for the segment.

“I’ve found out this morning,” she said.

“To just be told via you that I finish on Friday, I’ve had no time to speak to my staff, who I’ve led for the last two years as the administrator.”

She said the decision was “pretty undignified”.

“I really don’t know that it bodes well for a government with integrity and connection to people,” she said.

Coastal walkway and Waverley cemetery.
An audit found burial sites for certain religious faiths would run out of public burial space in about three years. Picture: Supplied.

It’s understood Ms Shearer’s term was always slated to end this Friday and Mr Kamper called her on Tuesday morning and thanked her for her work as OneCrown administrator.

“She has had led OneCrown through tough times of indecision and has been a fierce advocate for action and a champion for OneCrown’s frontline staff who do an incredible job,” he said in a statement released at 6am.

“We said we would undertake a transparent process to appoint an administrator once the current term finished. Today we have delivered.

“We have committed to the model. We have committed to our team. We now look forward to getting on with the job and working collaboratively to fix the mess that the former government left behind.”

Led by Mr Morrison, the MCC has been tasked with addressing the land shortfalls and ensuring burial and cremation service remain accessible and affordable to NSW residents.

The government’s audit found the most impacted religions included people of Muslim and Armenian, Eastern and Antiochian Orthodox faiths, where internment is considered the only accepted practice.