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6 August, 2022

Yarrabah policy holders take their battle to Canberra

ON Monday, August 1, two members of the Yarrabah community will fly to Canberra representing the 750 plus Yarrabah members of the failed funeral fund, ACBF/Youpla.

The representation is part of the nationwide #SaveSorryBusiness campaign representing approximately 30,000 First Nations fund members impacted by the collapse of the Aboriginal Community Benefit Fund in March. 

Yarrabah Aboriginal Shire Council Deputy Mayor and policyholder Brian Underwood will be joined by Ms Agnes Neal, a family policyholder, for meetings with key government members and Treasury officials. 

Yarrabah is the hardest hit of all communities throughout Australia, with over 750 current policyholders amongst the 4000-strong population. 

Last month the Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Financial Services, Stephen Jones and the Minster for Indigenous Australians, Linda Burney, announced an assistance package covering policyholders through to November 30, 2023. It is estimated that approximately 500 of the 30,000 members may benefit from the assistance package. 

The representation to Canberra will petition for greater controls over the sale of financial products and assistance for the remaining 29,500 policyholders impacted by the collapse of the funeral fund. 

Agnes Neal was devastated upon learning of the collapse of ACBF/Youpla. 

“It was a real kick in the guts for us when we heard that Youpla had shut down,” Ms Neal said. 

“They took advantage of my family and me. We thought they were from Mob, but they tricked us. 

“Paying for three policies by auto debit each fortnight was not easy, especially when things were tight, but we kept paying because we thought it was the right thing to do, and also we thought they were Indigenous owned and would do the right thing by us, she said”. 

Deputy Mayor Brian Underwood carries the concerns of his small community when he meets with government officials.

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