Bodies corporate in Mackay facing huge insurance premium hikes are urged to lodge a submission with a federal parliamentary inquiry into the industry.
Federal Member for Dawson, George Christensen, said people in Mackay and the Whitsundays were reporting massive increases in residential strata title insurance after Cyclone Yasi and the summer of natural disasters last year.
“In some cases, the increases have been five-fold in a single year and these are the kind of stories the inquiry needs to hear about,” he said.
“Some bodies corporate are taking out loans to cover the shortfalls from residents unable to meet payments.”
The inquiry, made up of Federal MPs, including Mr Christensen, has called for submissions and is arranging for hearings in regional centres.
A hearing will be held in Townsville early next year and Mr Christensen is requesting a hearing in Mackay and the Whitsundays also.
“Our first priority is to encourage everyone affected to make a submission,” he said. “If time doesn’t permit the committee to hold a hearing in Mackay and the Whitsundays, we will arrange a telephone link-up with local residents who want to air their grievances.
“It’s important that North Queenslanders tell their stories. Otherwise, the insurance companies will be allowed to do whatever they want.”
The committee will investigate the size of premium hikes, risk calculation, and whether there is a failure of the insurance market in North Queensland and if intervention is required.
Mr Christensen said he expected a huge response to the call for submissions.
Submissions can be made by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or through George.Christensen.MP@aph.gov.au before January 16.
Submissions should include a postal address and telephone contact details. For more information, go to www.aph.gov.au/house/committees/spla/strata/index.htm.