The inhabitants of a small semi-rural suburb about 70 kilometres west of Sydney’s CBD are fighting to scrap plans to halve the local 18-hole course into 9 holes to make room for 27,000 burial plots, a chapel and administration buildings.
The proposal by Catholic Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust (CMCT) would see the Wallacia Country Club be reduced to nine holes until 2050, then also converted for cemetery use.
The scheme would offer a much-needed solution to Sydney’s dwindling number of graves, which is reported to be used up within 15 years.
And the fact that the city is running out of burial space is not contested, but the proposed solutions are.
The people of Wallacia are opposing the plans and banners urging people to fight the proposals are decorating the suburb.
Ron Rae, a 77-year-old patron at Wallacia Country Club told the abc news the redevelopment would rob the community of a recreational facility.
“Unfortunately, with a golf course like this … if they want to take it and turn it to a cemetery, the little people lose again,” he said.
“We’re really looking for places like this where you can come and unwind with your friends and have a meal here and meet people.”
Nothing to gain for the town
The president of the Wallacia Progress Association, Jane McLuckie, said the proposal “takes the only recreation and open green space away from Wallacia … We’re losing and there’s no guarantee that we will gain anything.”
The local state MP, Tanya Davies, has supported the community’s concerns, telling parliament in 2019 the proposals “would utterly destroy the village character and community of Wallacia, which is a small, very close-knit township”.
A Facebook group has been created to save the golf club with almost 350 followers. A verdict on the cemetery proposal is expected in the near future.