Funeral Director Ross Pokere moved from New Zealand into Australia back in 2012, and has been operating his independent funeral home, Heaven Funerals, in Logan, south of Brisbane.
He’s one of the many people asking for greater regulation and transparency in his industry. Consumers across the country are asking for more clarity in their fees, and some people in the industry are backing them up. Pokere, being a part of the industry means he knows what the industry is like, and he’s one of the many asking for regulation and transparency, including people working in funeral parlours in Sydney and across the country.
In his mind, national standards for pricing and service standards for the funeral industry would not only help alleviate the concerns that customers have, but would also make it easier for funeral parlours in Sydney and other businesses in the industry to do their job.
Pokere explains that regulation and transparency would be good for the industry, because it would make things easier from an administrative perspective. On a moral and pragmatic standpoint, he says that it’s better for transactions for customers to know what they’re really paying for.
IbisWorld, a market research firm, looked into the Australian funeral industry, and noted that it makes about $1.6 billion annually, and is expected to have an annual growth rate of 2.5%.
They report that the market is dominated by three major players; InvoCare, Propel Funeral Partners, and then Tobin Brothers.
Another site, Gathered Here, run by Colin Wong, looked at the funeral services cost in Australia, taking the prices for 825 funeral homes across the country, acquired via making calls to the companies, and noted something.
In a report called Funeral Prices in Australia, he noted how much higher professional funeral services fees were higher if a premium funeral director is involved. The report notes that the average between the cheapest and the most expensive option for a basic funeral in the country sat at $5,066, which underlines how much money families can save for funerals.
The report also noted how NSW was the most expensive Aussie state for a non-service cremation, at an average of $4,311, while South Australia reported at the cheapest, at $2,756.
Major funeral firms like InvoCare say that the report doesn’t take into account their full service offering range.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, however, stated that consumer law states that consumers can request itemised bill that shows a breakdown of the services that they were paying for, including calculations.