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Town Supports Insurance Inquiry for Northern Australia

Published: Thursday, 30 November 2017 at 10:45:48 AM

The Town of Port Hedland has endorsed the move by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to conduct a public inquiry into home, contents and strata insurance in northern Australia.

Directed by Federal Treasurer, the Hon Scott Morrison, MP, the inquiry is in response to substantial increases in insurance premiums in the region since 2010-11.  

It also reflects growing concern from residents living in areas prone to cyclones and natural disasters.

A full issues paper has been released and community consultation is currently under way encouraging feedback in key areas including: insurance affordability, market place competition and risk prevention. A series of public forums will also be held across the region in the coming weeks.

According to Town of Port Hedland Mayor Camillo Blanco, it is important that the local community takes part in the discussion and raises the issues and concerns relevant to Port Hedland:

“We live in a part of the world that has a heightened risk of cyclones and other natural disasters and seem to be paying the price.

“For example, a 2015 report by Regional Development Australia (Pilbara), showed that overall insurance costs for businesses and residential housing was much higher for cities and towns north of the 26th parallel.*  

“This is having a direct impact on our community and something needs to be done.

“It’s vital that insurance premiums and product competitiveness accurately reflects the unique needs of the region and are challenged to ensure that we’re getting the best possible deal for our community.

“I strongly encourage everyone to have a say on this issue and participate in the inquiry process.”

A public forum will be held in Karratha on 30 November at 5:30pm at the Ibis Hotel. Further information and inquiry questionnaire can be found on the ACCC’s Consultation Hub: www.accc.gov.au/consultation.  All enquiries: insurance@accc.gov.au.  Written submissions close 5pm, 21 December, 2017.

*Regional Development Australia (Pilbara): August 2015: Study on Insurance and Banking in the Pilbara

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