Industry council welcomes state budget

Industry council welcomes state budget | Insurance Business

Industry council welcomes state budget
The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) has “welcomed” the Queensland state budget and its multi-million dollar allocation for disaster mitigation and infrastructure projects.

The budget allocates $40 million to a community resilience fund which will help councils and their mitigation efforts against natural disasters with a further $23 million for “shovel-ready,” community infrastructure.

ICA CEO, Rob Whelan, said that the budget shows a state government taking a sensible approach to mitigation as Queensland faces high exposure to natural disasters in a large number of areas but more could still be done.

“The Queensland Government is sensibly investing in mitigation that will help protect vulnerable communities from natural disasters,” Whelan said.
“Many parts of Queensland are highly exposed to extreme weather, in particular the impacts of cyclones and floods.
“Though today’s Budget announcement is a positive step, the ICA believes the Government must prioritise mitigation and resilience measures this decade if vulnerable communities are to remain prosperous.”
Whelan noted that the ICA is “disappointed” that the state budget gives no relief in terms of taxes on insurance which can be seen as a key driver of rising costs which leads to underinsurance.
“Queenslanders who chose to insure their assets will continue to carry an unfair burden,” Whelan said.
“The Budget papers note that revenue from insurance duty is expected to grow by 5.9 per cent in 2015-16. This is more than double the forecasted 2.5 per cent rate of inflation.

“The Government could have delivered immediate relief to Queensland households from cost-of-living pressures through cutting the stamp duty, or following the ACT Government’s example and deciding to phase out all insurance stamp duties over five years.”