It is difficult to establish what the actual demand is for what are termed ‘traditional’ burials when alternatives (such as green burials) are not offered.
The breakdown of cremations and burials in the annual reports of the Eastern Suburbs Memorial Trust are particularly interesting when read in conjunction with their recent marketing material targeting ‘burial cultures’ – see this brochure and religion specific others (Jewish, Greek Orthodox, Catholic).
The breakdown of Cremation to Burials in Annual Reports 2006-2010
Year Cremations% Burial%
2006 68 32
2007 69 31
2008 69 31
2009 68 32
2010 62 38
For years the spilt has averaged 68.5% to 31.5% but in 2010 burials  jump to 38%.  Perhaps the marketing efforts have paid off.  Revenue growth for burials from 2009 to 2010 was 10.8% and for cremations 7.3%.
Here is another example of creating a need for territorial expansion:
from the 2008 Annual Report
Crematorium memorialisation achieved was a total of 465 memorials being placed in our grounds to accommodate the interment of ashes (2006/07: 529). This represented 31.7% of cremations performed. There is still, sadly, a large tendency for families to simply take the remains of loved ones off premises without a commitment to memorialisation. ESMP staff have continued to work diligently to inform families of the various options available in an attempt to stem this practice.
Why when land is at a premium would an organisation take this attitude.
Catholics dropped 1,382
Orthodox dropped 231
Islam dropped 36
Judaism increased 645
Those shifts are comparable Sydney wide for Catholic and Orthodox, while no change for Judaism but increase for Islam. So in terms of the Sydney demographic Randwick attracted a few more people of Jewish faith and lost a similar number of Islam who have moved elsewhere in Sydney. Latest ABS figures are not available.
Note also the Herald letter of 11/1/12 Is the Eastern Suburbs Memorial Park Trust running out of burial space (”Growing vegies becomes a question of life and death”, January 7-8)? In July last year, in response to my family’s attempt to dispose of three unused burial sites at Botany Cemetery, the trust advised that, since 2004, it had resumed 593 sites in older sections of the cemetery and had onsold only four. Its selling skills obviously need to be sharpened.Maybe the trust should make more of an effort to sell the sites it already has instead of making a grab for the Chinese market gardens.Caroline Moses Katoomba
Also note Reserves have increased from around $4million in 2003 to around $10million in 2010.