Thank you

Whitsunday Times - - WHITSUNDAY VIEWS -

I WOULD like to thank all those who have sent mes­sages of con­grat­u­la­tions for my award as Ci­ti­zen of the Year, es­pe­cially Di Fleet­wood who nom­i­nated me.

The words of sup­port from my home town mean a lot.

I wrote my first email on the strata in­sur­ance cri­sis in June 2011 so I’m com­ing into my fifth year.

As of to­day the in­sur­ance cri­sis has spread be­yond strata to in­clude other in­sur­ances and to in­clude other ar­eas of Aus­tralia lead­ing to a so­lu­tion re­quired for North­ern Aus­tralia not just North Queens­land, al­though that is, and has al­ways been, my pri­or­ity.

A to­tal of 30,000 house­holds per year are leav­ing the mar­ket and the cri­sis is now af­fect­ing 3,000,000 Aus­tralians.

Th­ese ex­ces­sive in­creases are still hav­ing a dev­as­tat­ing ef­fect on ar­eas al­ready af­fected by the down­turn in the re­sources sec­tor, the GFC and sub­se­quent drop in tourism, and are caus­ing men­tal, phys­i­cal health and fi­nan­cial dif­fi­cul­ties.

They have led to Mort­gagee in pos­ses­sion sales, a ma­jor re­duc­tion in prop­erty val­ues, and bank­ruptcy.

We are mak­ing progress – there have been new prod­ucts on the mar­ket and at least it is now recog­nised at state and fed­eral level that North Queens­land in par­tic­u­lar has an in­sur­ance cri­sis.

In­sur­ance is not a lux­ury, it is a ne­ces­sity, and it has to be af­ford­able.

I con­tinue the fight. Thank you all once again. Mar­garet Shaw Air­lie Beach

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