Earlier this month ICAN and the Consumer Action Law Centre put out a joint media release expressing disappointment in the Federal Court’s decision to allow for the continued exploitation of Indigenous Australians through dud Funeral Insurance schemes. For years, low income Indigenous communities have been targeted using the Department of Human Service’s bill paying service (Centrepay), so the commercial Aboriginal Community Benefit Fund (ACBF) can profit while delivering little, if any, benefit.
The court decision effectively over-ruled a decision by the previous Minister for Human Services Marise Payne to prohibit funeral insurance providers from using Centrepay to secure payments. It gives the green light for ACBF to profit from Centrelink payments in front of payments for rent, food and other essentials.
Since the Federal Court decision ICAN is encouraged to learn that the Department of Human Services has launched an appeal as reported on in the Australian news article on the 19th July 2016, Court battle looms on Centrelink payments for funeral insurance. ICAN CEO, Aaron Davis said, “we will be watching this matter closely as the implications for who and who doesn’t have access to the Centrepay system are significant.”