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INSURERS BACK LABOR’S DISASTER READY FUND

February 22, 2022

SENATOR MURRAY WATT
SHADOW MINISTER FOR NORTH AUSTRALIA
SHADOW MINISTER FOR DISASTER AND EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT
LABOR SENATOR FOR QUEENSLAND

MATT THISTLETHWAITE MP
SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR FINANCIAL SERVICES
SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR THE REPUBLIC
MEMBER FOR KINGSFORD SMITH

INSURERS BACK LABOR’S DISASTER READY FUND

The peak body for insurers in Australia has today called for Federal investment in disaster mitigation that exactly matches Labor’s recent commitment.

The Insurance Council of Australia is calling on the Federal Government to invest $200 million dollars a year on disaster mitigation, as a key measure to control spiralling insurance premiums in North Queensland and other disaster-prone regions.

Labor has committed to do just that, as part of our Plan for Disaster Readiness.

In January this year, we announced that an Albanese Labor Government would establish a new Disaster Ready Fund, that would invest up to $200 million per year to help homes, businesses and communities resist cyclones, floods and bushfires.

Where possible, that funding will be matched by State, Territory or local governments, meaning up to $400 million would be spent on disaster readiness each year. 

Data from the ICA shows that this investment will reduce financial, health and social costs to the Australian Government and Australian households by nearly $20 billion by 2050.

The Government’s own Productivity Commission, insurers, local governments and disaster relief bodies have been advocating for this level of investment since 2015, but the Morrison-Joyce Government has not listened.

In fact, despite nearly a decade in office, the LNP has comprehensively failed to tackle spiralling insurance premiums, or to prepare Australia for future natural disasters.

It continues to sit on a $4.8 billion Emergency Response Fund that has not spent a cent on disaster recovery and has not completed a single disaster prevention project since it was established three years ago. The only thing it has done is earn the Government over $800 million in investment returns.

Even its much-trumpeted reinsurance pool has questions over it, with the Government refusing to release the modelling it says shows big insurance savings in North Queensland, or say how much an average North Queensland homeowner will save.

Labor’s Disaster Ready Fund is proof that Anthony Albanese and Labor team have a plan for insurance costs and to prepare for future natural disasters.

Our fund will curb the devastating impacts of natural disasters by investing in flood levees, sea walls, cyclone shelters, evacuation centres, fire breaks and telecommunications improvements.

It’s now up to the Morrison-Joyce Government to take serious action to protect Australians from natural disasters and the insurance costs that come with them.

TUESDAY, 22 FEBURARY 2022

A FAIR GO FOR AUSTRALIA