ACCC insurance inquiry forums in Northern Australia

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) will host a series of public forums across northern Australia over the next few weeks.

The Minister for Revenue and Financial Services, Kelly O’Dwyer said, “This is the opportunity for anyone in northern Australia who has faced rising insurance premiums to raise their concerns directly with the ACCC.”

The ACCC has been provided $7.9 million in the 2017 Budget to conduct a wide-ranging inquiry into the supply of residential building, contents and strata insurance in northern Australia.

“The Government will closely monitor the inquiry and findings of the ACCC inquiry. If there is evidence to indicate that that the market is not competitive, or that premiums are not properly reflecting the risks facing residents in northern Australia, the Government will consider the options available to it to improve insurance affordability,” O’Dwyer said.

All residents of northern Australia and stakeholders have been encouraged to participate in this inquiry and those who can’t attend the forums have been encouraged to have their say by responding to the issues paper on the ACCC website. Submissions are due by 5pm, 21 December 2017 and can be emailed to insurance@accc.gov.au.

The issue of affordability of insurance up north is not new, with a Northern Australia Insurance Premiums Taskforce set up in 2015 to delve into the issue. Its final report was published in March 2016 recommending mitigation as a key approach to reducing premiums in the region as reported here. Northern Australia will include the Northern Territory, parts of Queensland and Western Australia north of the Tropic of Capricorn and some areas south of it including Carnarvon WA and Gladstone, Qld as reported here.

Details of the public forums:

Townsville QLD

Wednesday 15 November

Hotel Grand Chancellor, 5:30pm

334 Flinders St, Townsville City

Cairns QLD

Thursday 16 November

Rydges Plaza Cairns, 5:30pm

50 Grafton St, Cairns City

Darwin NT

Wednesday 22 November

Oaks Elan Darwin, 5:30pm

31 Woods St, Darwin City

Alice Springs NT

Thursday 23 November

Aurora Alice Springs, 5:30pm

11 Leichhardt Terrace, Alice Springs

Broome WA

Wednesday 29 November

Oaks Broome, 5:30pm

99 Robinson St, Broome

Karratha WA

Thursday 30 November

Ibis Styles Karratha, 5:30pm

35-45 Searipple Rd, Karratha

Rockhampton QLD

Tuesday 5 December

Travel Lodge Hotel, 5:30pm

86 Victoria Parade, Rockhampton City

Mackay QLD

Wednesday 6 December

Quest Mackay on MacAlister, 5:30pm

38 MacAlister St, Mackay