Labor neglects action on shocking funeral practices

The Palaszczuk Labor Government has no intention of cracking down on dodgy funeral operators ripping off grieving families in Queensland, Parliamentary Estimates revealed today.

Shadow Attorney General David Janetzki pressed the Labor Government on its response to widespread reports of shocking practices in the funeral industry and a gaps in legislation.

“Queensland families deserve to lay their loved ones to rest with decency and respect,” Mr Janetzki said.

“Sadly, backyard embalming, coffin swapping and cremation shopping are some of the tactics being used by rogue operators in Queensland.

“We suspected the funeral industry was not a priority for Labor and today Labor Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath could not name a single action the Labor Government planned to take to strengthen legislation.

“The Queensland Funeral Directors’ Association, funeral directors, affected families and community members are calling out for regulation around licensing and conduct.”

Mr Janetzki said a Question on Notice by the LNP revealed complaints to the Office of Fair Trading about the funeral industry increased by more than 300 per cent in 2017-18 compared to previous years.

“At the moment, Queensland does not have any standalone legislation governing burials, cemeteries and funerals,” he said.

“All you need to start a funeral business in Queensland is a mobile phone and a station wagon. That’s outrageous.

“The LNP has been raising these issues since January.

“Attorney General Yvette D’Ath is failing to stand up for grieving families by failing to fix the funeral industry.”

The funeral industry was put in the spotlight earlier this year when police investigated a case where the body of a Rockhampton woman was removed from her $1700 coffin and placed in a pine box just hours before cremation.

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