Expensive Funeral 275The Herald (New Zealand) says if it wasn't already hard enough, dying in Australia in the 21st century has never been more confusing, expensive and convoluted for the deceased's loved-ones. 

Each state and territory is guilty of practices like coffin swapping, mass cremation and even considering proposals to exhume bodies 25 years after they've been laid to rest.


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Sydney, which will run out of burial space in less than three decades, has also become the home of mausoleums selling for more than A$500,000 ($539,200). And earlier this month, a Queensland funeral director was accused of switching out a grandmother's "gorgeous" A$1700 coffin for a A$70 pine box. These are just some of the many scandals to rock the A$1.1 billion industry lately, which has long been accused of taking advantage of vulnerable people.

Mass cremation

The convolution around dying in Australia has become so bad, the head of Queensland's Funeral Directors Association has called for a formal inquiry into the industry.

Anton Brown, the president of the association, is sick of the few dodgy owners tainting the whole industry.  "We need regulation, we need it now," he told news.com.au.

After making a public call for an inquiry earlier this month, Brown said he's been inundated with calls — and not all of them are coming from Queensland. "It's a national issue. I've had more calls from New South Wales than I can count, so many I can't tell what's fact or fiction anymore," he said.


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