Owner of Whitsunday Funerals and Crematorium, Jeff Boyle.
Owner of Whitsunday Funerals and Crematorium, Jeff Boyle. Peter Carruthers

Mackay funeral director to sue government

EXCLUSIVE:

A Mackay funeral home owner will be taking the Queensland Government to court over allegations of gross misconduct in the funeral industry including standover tactics, breaches of fair trading and breaches of privacy.

Whitsunday Funerals and Crematorium owner Jeff Boyle has claimed the crux of the issue is the State Government awarding lowly priced "1 cent" contracts to funeral homes.

Mr Boyle said he had evidence Queensland funeral homes working under the contracts were breaching them by picking up corpses with cars bearing company logos and using next-of-kin information for commercial gain.

"This thing has just been going on for so many years and no one gives a damn, no one has been held accountable," he said. "It's hurting the families, the families are paying the costs in the end."

Mr Boyle said funeral homes tendered at low prices because they made a profit through unscrupulous behaviour.

His comments come after Attorney General Yvette D'Ath yesterday told an estimates committee that "1 cent" contracts are not factually correct.

"It is very important for me to reiterate that the procurement process was overseen by an independent probity advisor to see that all the probity protocols were adhered to," she said.

Ms D'Ath said the Coroners Court investigates all complaints thoroughly.

Shadow Attorney-General David Janetzki said the government needed to take action on the unregulated industry.

"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.

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