Mackay funeral operator calls for inquiry.
Mackay funeral operator calls for inquiry. Sarah Harvey

Funeral industry uncovered: Woman felt preyed on

Disappointed with the way her family was treated by a funeral service during her late mother's death, a woman used it as reason to enter the funeral industry herself.

It comes in the wake of a stream of issues within the funeral industry exposing a lack of pathologists leading to delays for funeral directors, as well as the Whitsunday Funeral & Crematorium withdrawing from the Queensland Coroners Department.

The woman from Cannonvale, who preferred not to be named, said she felt the company that tried to handle her mother's death "preyed" on vulnerable families during emotional times, "taking advantage of them".

"It's so wrong. They were wanting to sign mum's body over then and there (at the hospital) - here's a piece of paper, $1,700 please sign this to transfer the body to the morgue," she said.

She also claimed that the company transferred her mother's body to the autopsy in a "non-refrigerated van".

"There's no respect for those who have passed," she said.

"They aren't looking after the best interests of those that are left behind they just see the dollar signs."

The woman said she believed the issues stem from touting within hospitals.

Whitsunday Funerals director Jeff Boyle suggested similar incidents occurred frequently and it was only the tip of the iceberg.

"I've seen some horrific things in the industry right across Australia," he said.

"We'd turn up to funeral homes and they'd wheel the coffin over and they'd just pick up the body and drop it in the coffin, literally drop it in the coffin. My heart would just go how can you do that? And they'd go there's no viewing, doesn't matter it's not important."

Mr Boyle said he's been "trying to expose this for 10 years".

He claimed that he'd sent 133 pages of documents backwards and forwards to the Department of Justice and the State Government since 2013 outlining incidents.

"We've got photographs of bodies that have been autopsied in body bags not even washed, cleaned or fully undressed. We've been telling the government this for years and they wont listen," he said.

Mr Boyle is calling for a public inquiry into the industry in regards to the price of funerals. The Department of Justice and Attorney-General was contacted in regard to Mr Boyle's claims.

While the state government department was unable to provide a response to the claims by time of print, a response is expected today.

The woman said she now worked "for a wonderful family owned funeral business as a direct result of my family's experience and am honoured to help families in their time of need."