QUEENSLAND councils have taken their fight for a fairer insurance deal for North and Far North Queensland local communities to the Senate as they continue to push for Federal Government action.
Townsville City Council Mayor and Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) board director Cr Jenny Hill today appeared on behalf of the LGAQ at a public hearing of the Senate Select Committee on the effectiveness of the Australian Government’s Northern Australia agenda, held in Townsville, to outline the need for reforms to bring premium relief.
The LGAQ, Mayor Hill and other North and Far North Queensland-based mayors are calling for action, including a Federal reinsurance pool, to help bring down premium costs so residents and businesses can finally afford protections those in other parts of the country take for granted.
LGAQ President and Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson said the Association wanted to ensure addressing insurance issues in North and Far North Queensland was front and centre of the Federal Government’s Northern Australia economic agenda.
“We join with our member councils in calling for a reinsurance pool to be established as a priority Federal Government response,” he said.
Mayor Jamieson said a precedent already existed following the establishment of the terrorism reinsurance scheme by the former Howard Government.
“Improving insurance affordability is an economic enabler that can reduce living costs for families and support local businesses, more investment and local jobs,” he said.
Mayor Hill welcomed the decision of the Senate Committee to hold its hearings in the north so it could see first-hand the issues locals were experiencing.
“It is unacceptable that our residents are having to risk being uninsured for disaster season after disaster season because the cost to protect their homes and businesses is just too high,” Mayor Hill said.
“Insurance companies are putting in place policies by post code. North Queenslanders should not be disadvantaged by where they live.
“They should not have to choose between protecting their homes and businesses or putting food on the table or employing extra staff.
“Access to affordable and appropriate insurance coverage is essential for all Queenslanders.”
Mayor Hill said she and her fellow mayors were calling for action, including a Federal reinsurance pool, to help bring down the costs so residents and businesses were finally able to afford protections those in other parts of the country take for granted.
“This is a clear market failure and something the Federal Government can address.”
Cr Hill also took the opportunity to raise with the Senate Committee other issues of importance to Queensland councils including the need for greater digital connectivity in rural and remote parts of Northern Australia and the opportunity for the Federal Government to work with councils to boost advanced manufacturing as part of its economic agenda, supporting job-creation and local investment.
The call for a Northern Australia reinsurance pool formed part of the LGAQ’s Federal Budget submission which can be found here.
The LGAQ’s submission to the Senate Select Committee can be found here.
For more information, please contact:
Sarah Vogler, Media Executive
Local Government Association of Queensland