Award-winning Broome financial counsellor calls $97m Youpla fund compensation package ‘bitter sweet’

Cain AndrewsBroome Advertiser
Broome CIRCLE financial counsellor Veronica Johnson.
Camera IconBroome CIRCLE financial counsellor Veronica Johnson. Credit: Cain Andrews/Broome Advertiser/Broome Advertiser

An award-winning Broome financial counsellor has called the Federal Government’s new $97m package to compensate victims of the Youpla fund “bitter sweet” with less than half of those affected to be compensated.

On February 8 the Government announced that the new $97m Youpla Support Program would come into affect from July 1 this year.

Under the new program, people who paid premiums for Youpla Group policies that were active anytime on or after August 1, 2015 can apply to receive compensation.

More than 30,000 people were left high and dry without an insurance policy or a refund when Youpla went into liquidation in 2022.

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Now after more than four years of fighting, victims and their advocates have finally secured some sort of compensation, but Broome CIRCLE financial counsellor Veronica Johnson said the announcement was “bitter sweet” because more than half of the victims would be missing out.

“People from 2015 that were signed on will be getting compensation but people that dropped out, for whatever reasons, prior to 2015 will be missing out,” she said.

“My heart goes out to them, because they were lied to and misled just as much as the ones from 2015 onwards.”

Victim Deborah Sebastian said she was happy to be getting some sort of compensation after years of fighting.

“We paid a lot of money and only six grand will be coming back but I’m still happy with that,” she said.

“Once I get the money I am going to do up the house.”

Deborah Sebastian
Camera IconDeborah Sebastian Credit: Cain Andrews/Broome Advertiser/Broome Advertiser

Ms Johnson said the announcement represented a “little bit of justice”.

“We have been fighting for at least four years for this government announcement that’s just been made,” she said.

“The most positive part about what’s what’s happened is the fact that the Government has acknowledged that wrong has been done.”

“I would just like to thank all the First Nations people that have been brave standing with us throughout this whole fight and Broome CIRCLE for giving us the opportunity to be able to advocate in this space year in and year out.”

The compensation package comes after a Federal judge slapped ABCF Funeral Plans with a $1.2m fine for making dodgy claims about its policies in September 2023.

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