02 August 2022



Date: Tuesday 2 August

[Stephen Jones, Assistant Treasurer, Member for Whitlam and Minister for Financial Services]: “I want to start by acknowledging that in the Speakers Gallery today are representatives of the Save Sorry Business Coalition, they’ve traveled form the Kimberley, they’ve traveled from Moree, they’ve traveled from Ballarat, they’ve traveled from New England and from other places around the Country, so that their voices can be heard by members of this place.”

“They have a sorry story to tell. The collapse of the Youpla Group has affected thousands of First Nations families around Australia who were relying on this funeral benefit insurance to allow them to mourn their loved ones and to conduct Sorry Business.”

“The government, the Albanese Labor Government, recognises the sorrow and grief and anguish that the collapse of this business has caused to this communities.”

“I want to thank the Minister for Indigenous Affairs, I want to thank the First Nations members of the Labor caucus and other members of this house who’ve representations to myself and the Minister for Indigenous Affairs on this matter.”

“The Government recognises the significant distress, investigations are underway into the behaviour of the Directors and the Company, but our first and our immediate priority is to ensure that bodies which are today sitting in morgues because families cannot afford to bury them and conduct the important cultural business of Sorry Business is allowed to go ahead.”

“As a short-term measure, the program that the Government has put in place will ensure that claims received between the 1st of April of last year and the 30th of November next year, will be honoured. We will stand in the shoes of the insurer.”

“We estimate this will benefit up to 500 First Nations families around Australia who would otherwise be left without a funeral benefit.”

“More work needs to be done to ensure that we can resolve all the other issues associated with this collapse. But we must ask ourselves, if there was a voice to Parliament prior to 2020, would it have told us that we need to change the law to ensure that these dodgy insurance products are not sold to vulnerable communities.”

“If there was voice to Parliament in 2020, would it have told us that the collapse of this program was going to cause the sort of harm we’ve described to these families and communities, the answer is yes.”