GOLD COAST BULLETIN Saturday, April 14, 1986
GOLD Coast surfboard makers feared they could be wiped out after Suncorp cancelled its insurance cover of some of their factories due to fire concerns.
At least three board manufacturers were told Queensland’s biggest insurer would no longer cover them because of high-fire risks.
Others were warned to clean up their workshops in a major insurance shake-up of the fibreglass industry.
The board makers, many of whom were insured for years by SGIO before it became Suncorp, said they were being discriminated against.
“It stinks,” said Hot Stuff Surfboards proprietor Paul Hallas. “They have dumped us.
“We’ve been with them for 11 years and haven’t even looked like having a fire here. No one here smokes so you’d need to torch the place to burn it down.
“What about the panel shops which have oxyacetylene equipment and pains and thinners? Surely that’s a much more explosive situation than a surfboard factory? We feel we’re being persecuted.”
Mr Hallas was one of a number of Coast board makers whose polices were cancelled by Suncorp following inspections by insurance surveyors.
Each board maker received a letter from Suncorp stating that “because of the present condition of the (board making) establishment,” the company was no longer prepared to cover them.
“Just how clean can you make factory? After all, it’s a place of work,” said Currumbin surfboard maker Geoff Darby.
Mr Darby feared Suncorp’s decision could force him and others out of the industry.