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Ad Hoc Approach to Funeral Help Under Fire

Greens MP Adele Carles describes the plight of a family in Fremantle whose relative was left for nearly two weeks in the Fremantle mortuary because they could not afford to have him moved as “tragic and unnecessary”.

The case of the man, known as Brian, was revealed when his niece contacted local radio last week.

The family was finally able to have his body moved to a funeral home on Friday afternoon after receiving financial help from the community.

“We are a civilised society and that means taking care of our most vulnerable,” Ms Carles said.

“It should not be left to the kindness of strangers, in this case a real estate agency, to pay for these funerals.”

“This is about allowing a small number of Western Australians, only about 400 every year, to be given the same respect and dignity in death that we all expect,” she said.

The Funeral Assistance program, which paid for the funerals of the neediest and cost the government about $750,000 a year, was axed by the state government as part of its drive to cut 3 per cent from departmental spending.

The Member for Fremantle says the Government needs to show compassion in this instance and reinstate the Funeral Assistance Program.

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