The Save Sorry Business Coalition, which is supported by 130 organisations and almost 20,000 individuals, welcomes today’s Government announcement for the family of policy holders who have passed and who have been deeply affected emotionally and financially by the collapse of predatory funeral insurer, Youpla.
The Minister for Indigenous Australians, Linda Burney, and Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Financial Services, Stephen Jones, have announced the government will honor benefits for ACBF policy holders who had an active policy as at 1 April 2020. This assistance will be available until 30 November 2023.
The Save Sorry Business Coalition looks forward to working with this Government to develop an enduring resolution for the remaining policy holders over the next 18 months.
Lynda Edwards, Wangkumara/Barkandji woman and Financial Capability Coordinator at Financial Counselling Australia, said:
“We warmly welcome the Federal Government’s commitment as a first step towards a resolution for Youpla customers who have passed away. These are First Nations people who were simply trying to do the right thing by their families and community.”
“The Government has recognised that an urgent solution is needed. We have heard tragic stories of elders being left in morgues while their families have been left unable to pay for the important cultural practice of Sorry Business.”
Bettina Cooper, Boandik woman and Aboriginal Financial Counsellor at Mob Strong Debt Help, said:
“This is an important and welcome announcement for some people caught up in the tragic collapse of Youpla. We recognise and appreciate the willingness of the Federal Government to listen and consult with First Nations people on this issue. Thoughth is will not bring back loved ones, we hope it will ease the burden of Sorry Business on your family and community.
“We look forward to further onversations around a fair resolution for the remaining policy holders who were exploited by Youpla and let down by repeated regulatory failures. There is a lot more work to be done before the tens of thousands of First Nations peoples harmed by Youpla can heal from decades of cultural and financial harm.”
Mark Holden, Dunghutti man and Aboriginal Solicitor at Mob Strong Debt Help, said:
“Today’s announcement shows the Federal Government wants to address the regulatory failures that have harmed so many First Nations people. Mob Strong Debt Help receives thousands of calls from people who are worried, angry and anxious about their future.
“We recognise the important work that this Government has done in its first two months to assist First Nations people in crisis due to the collapse. Previous successive governments failed to offer any meaningful assistance — and the last government suggested that First Nations elders could have a pauper’s funeral, which was culturally devastating. We look forward to working with the Federal Government to assist all remaining policyholders to avoid further trauma and intergenerational debt.”
Daphne Naden, Kuku Yalanji Elder and Director at the Indigenous Consumer Assistance Network, said:
“I didn’t want to leave my daughters with the financial pressure to find funds to bury me so I took out a plan with this funeral company thinking it was the right thing to do. But this funeral company deliberately went out to exploit Indigenous communities.
“While there is still more to do, this news will help families grieving the loss of loved ones who should have been covered.”
Samantha Rudolph, Wurundjeri woman and Aboriginal Policy Officer at Consumer Action Law Centre said:
“The Banking Royal Commission laid bare the terrible harm caused by Youpla’s practices. First Nations communities all over Australia were exploited and their savings lost by its collapse. Now, over the next 12-18 months, progress can be made towards a fair and equitable solution. It is a great first step.”