28 November 2022
Peak property body Strata Community Association (Qld) (“SCA (Qld)”) has welcomed the bipartisan determination to improve the roll out and structure of the Northern Australia Cyclone Reinsurance Pool. SCA (Qld) has urged politicians to heed the feedback given at the Joint Select Committee on Northern Australia inquiry into the Cyclone Reinsurance Pool and work quickly to amend the legislation to make it effective. SCA (Qld) General Manager Laura Bos said there were many positives to take out of the week but hoped action would be the outcome.
“I want to start off by saying I am extremely pleased to hear Allianz Australia will sign on to the Cyclone Reinsurance Pool by January. I am glad things are starting to get moving,” said Ms Bos.
“I was also encouraged to see the bipartisan spirit with which the inquiry was conducted. Solving this problem cannot be a political football.”
“We were pleased to see the focus on strata communities, who have been most affected due to their obligations to insure under State legislation.”
“Whilst it is clear there are positive signs emerging, the issues addressed by the inquiry need quick legislative action from both State and Federal Government.”
Ms Bos said action on stamp duty and the roll out of significant mitigation funding were urgent and necessary.
“We heard from a wide range of stakeholders about the need for stamp duty on insurance premiums to be abolished and for significant mitigation to occur. Stamp duty on strata insurance premiums was best abolished a decade ago. The next best time is now,” said Ms Bos.
“Prior to the election, the Federal Government gave a commitment to fund the North Queensland Strata Title Resilience Pilot Program to the tune of $40 million. This received bipartisan support. We hope to see this rolled out as soon as possible and ask that strata properties are given further mitigation funding; politicians of all stripes were appreciative of the importance of mitigation. The sooner there is certainty around this, the sooner tradesmen can be tying down roofs.”
“Because of their communal nature, strata properties have the greatest difficulty self-funding mitigation works. It is important Government intervene to help communities in this regard.”
Ms Bos also said that amendments agreed upon by stakeholders giving evidence should be legislated as soon as possible.
“It is absolutely clear that the Government should legislate to ensure that the Pool is equipped to deliver on its intention to deliver affordable insurance to all in North Queensland,” said Ms Bos.
“If there is consensus that it is necessary to remove or amend the revenue neutral principles and extend the length of time legislated for cyclone induced flooding, then we ask Government to act on this as quickly as possible.”