Frus­tra­tion at in­sur­ance stale­mate

Pilbara News - - News - Tom Zaun­mayr and Tay­lar Amonini

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.”

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