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Tuesday, 9 November 1976
Page: 2438


Mr ABEL (EVANS, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Has the Minister for Business and Consumer Affairs heard of reports on radio station 2UW's John Laws program this morning alleging that citizens who have contributed regularly for periods of 20, 33 and 40 years to the funeral fund operated by the Sydney firm known as Labor Funerals have received a cash benefit from the firm of only $ 1 30 for funerals ranging in cost between $500 and $700?


Mr SPEAKER - Order! I remind the honourable member that the Minister for Health is not responsible for the administration of that particular funeral benefits scheme. I give him the opportunity to put his question into order.


Mr ABEL - I directed my question to the Minister for Business and Consumer Affairs.


Mr SPEAKER - The situation remains the same.


Mr ABEL - I will rephrase the question. Has the Minister heard of reports on radio station 2UW'S John Laws program this morning alleging that citizens who have contributed regularly for periods of 20, 33 and 40 years to a certain funeral fund operated in New South Wales have received a cash benefit from that fund of only $ 130 for funerals ranging in cost between $500 and $700? Does the Minister know whether these allegations are true? If such a rip off is taking place, can the Minister say whether any breach of Commonwealth law has occurred? Will the Minister investigate this matter?


Mr HOWARD (BENNELONG, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Business and Consumer Affairs) -My attention has been drawn to the reports. I am unaware whether the allegations made in that program are correct. I shall investigate the matter further and let the honourable gentleman know whether it comes within the ambit of Commonwealth law and if so whether anything can be done. I have no idea whether the allegations are correct.







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