A newsstory linked at Public Cemeteries dot Net says Australian spending on funeral services fell 26.4 per cent to $592 million last financial year, a detailed breakdown of national account figures published by the Bureau of Statistics shows. 
It has since cautioned that the steep drop may reflect a miscount in previous years.

But undertakers say consumers are definitely thinking twice about cost. The national vice-president of the Australian Funeral Directors Association, Darren Eddy, said a generational change had occurred and people were more comfortable talking about the cost of a funeral.

But new laws in NSW requiring undertakers to offer grieving families an upfront, and itemised, cost estimate had helped some families to reduce costs, Mr Eddy said.

A lack of supply of new burial grounds in the inner-city had also pushed up the cost of burial to more than $10,000 at some Sydney cemeteries, prompting some families to consider cremation, Mr Eddy said. Four in every five people who died in cities were now cremated, up from only two in five a decade ago, he said.

But pensioner lobby groups reject the notion that families are finding it easy to save money on funerals.

''People are still having to pay thousands and thousands of dollars for a funeral and it is particularly a problem if you're on a low fixed income,'' Charmaine Crowe, the policy co-ordinator of the Combined Pensioners and Superannuants Association, said.

Even cremations could still cost up to $6000 when memorial services, plaques, flowers and funeral director fees were added.