LEICHHARDT MP Warren Entsch has congratulated the Newman Government for its forward-thinking strategy in proposing a flood levee in Cairns to mitigate flood vulnerability.
“This is a very significant positive move in the right direction,” Mr Entsch said today.
“It also reinforces exactly why I have committed to organising a round table with the State Government and the Insurance Council of Australia after the election time and again I have stated that there is no single agency that can fix this problem.
“The State Government proposal to invest in infrastructure that will help reduce risk, and therefore premiums, shows they are taking this seriously. Now we’ve got to make sure that the ICA doesn’t continue to pull excuses out of their hat.”
Mr Entsch said he would also be interested as to whether the ICA thought it reasonable that Queensland’s largest home insurer, Suncorp, has just posted an earnings jump from $493 million to $883 million, while its managing director Patrick Snowball has a pay packet worth up to $8 million.
“I was sickened and outraged when I heard,” Mr Entsch said. “Here in Leichhardt we have thousands of people – pensioners, families, self-funded retirees and investors who are stretched to their financial and emotional limit because they can’t afford to insure their property.
“People try to shop around but guess what whether you try Suncorp, AAMI, Vero, GIO or APIA, they are all owned by Suncorp Group. There is no competition in the market here.”
Mr Entsch said Labor’s challenge for Premier Newman to remove state stamp duty would, on its own, achieve little in the way of relief for property owners.
“Does Billy Gordon not understand that most people are struggling to even get a policy? Let alone to have a policy renewed? There is no doubt that insurers are refusing cover based on postcode and I have numerous examples.
“Labor does not understand that we have to work together.
“I’m looking forward to the round table, I’ve got a whole range of recommendations that I want to bring with a multi-pronged focus. These include changes to both federal and state legislation, as well as some key changes to insurer practice, including acknowledgement that consumers who take measures to reduce their risk deserve lower premiums.”