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Queensland’s strata insurance in focus as election nears

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The Strata Community Association (SCA) in Queensland has stepped up its campaign for action on affordability and availability of cover in cyclone-prone areas ahead of the state election at the end of the month.

SCA Queensland President James Nickless says there is scope for the Queensland Government to act independently or to use its influence to pressure the Federal Government to establish a national arrangement.

The group has flagged options such as New Zealand’s Earthquake Commission and a public-private scheme that provides cover in France, or arrangements that operate in Australia for building defects.

The cost of insurance cover in northern Australia has attracted a number of Federal Government inquiries over the past few years.

“It really comes down to, do we care about the residents of Far North Queensland?” Mr Nickless told “Do we want to protect them, do we want to allow them to have reasonable access to insurance? And if we do, then [a] solution needs to be considered.”

SCA’s push has received support from Katter’s Australia Party, which holds parliamentary seats in Queensland’s north.

Party Leader and MP for the Carpentaria region seat of Traeger, Robbie Katter, says insurance premiums for body corporates have increased 300% since 2016.

“I am challenging the incumbent Labor Government and the Opposition to speak up on this issue and tell Queenslanders, and particularly those of us being choked by this in the north, how they plan to address it,” he said last week.

“In particular we would like to see them sit down with those from the industry and formulate an emergency plan.”

Labor, led by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, won the previous election in 2017 with a narrow majority, raising the possibility of a hung parliament following the October 31 poll.