Frustration at insurance stalemate
Pilbara property owners have accused Durack MHR Melissa Price of avoiding the prickly issue of insurance as the north continues to wait for the Federal Government’s response to a probe into high premiums.
The Senate was due to respond to recommendations put forward by the North Australian Insurance Premiums Taskforce report more than a year ago but is yet to do so.
Those recommendations include improved mitigation through education and research; greater recognition of mitigation from the insurance industry; increased scope for policyholders to assume more responsibility of risk; and subsidised mitigation measures for low-income households
At a recent Pilbara forum, Ms Price was asked what the Government was doing about insurance premiums. She said the report would be finished soon.
“I’ll follow it up and come back to you as to what the Federal Government is doing,” she said.
“That was the whole point of the actual inquiry and I don’t think they’ve actually finished that.”
Port Hedland Chamber of Commerce president Jim Henneberry said Canberra had forgotten about the Pilbara.
“Four per cent of the GDP of this country comes out of this area and they won’t even give us the courtesy of responding to our issues,” he said. “A bit of relief or understanding would have helped.”
When asked by the Telegraph to elaborate on her comments at the forum, Ms Price failed to respond by time of print. Karratha commercial and residential property owner Terry Scott said about a third of income earned from his properties was going towards insurance.
“Five years ago premiums were comparable to what you get in metro area but now they have gone through the roof,” he said.
“We were paying about $1200. Now with that company, the cheapest we can get is about $12,000.”