Greens Leader, Adam Bandt MP, and Greens candidate for the flood affected electorate of Richmond, Mandy Nolan, have announced the Greens will move when Parliament resumes in March to extend government backed insurance to all flood victims.
Greens Leader Adam Bandt MP said, ‘Thousands of homes and businesses will be uninsurable without the Greens’ plan to extend reinsurance to flood victims.
‘The increased severity of climate related floods is pushing the cost of insurance out of reach of many homeowners and businesses, so nationalising cyclone reinsurance is critical but it must cover all flood victims.’
What is proposed
The Treasury Laws Amendment (Cyclone and Flood Damage Reinsurance Pool) Bill 2022, which is due to be debated in Budget week later this month, establishes a mandatory scheme for insurers to reinsure with the government-owned Australian Reinsurance Pool Corporation (ARPC) when providing cover against cyclone related damage.
This partial nationalisation of house insurance is designed to keep premiums low by removing much of the profit-taking from cyclone insurance. As the current floods are not cyclone related they are excluded from the scheme.
The Greens say they will move amendments to the bill in the Senate to extend coverage to all floods, including floods such as those in NSW and QLD and require coal and gas corporations to fund the scheme.
The Greens also want a statutory inquiry to consider the full nationalisation of all climate-related reinsurance for events such as bushfires.
Politicians from other parties have recently spoken in support of extending mandatory reinsurance to all flood victims, suggesting the amendments have a chance of passing the Senate before the election.
Speaking from the Northern Rivers, Greens candidate for Richmond Mandy Nolan said, ‘I have just survived this latest flood disaster, but now many in my community are facing the disaster of being uninsurable. We need to act now.
‘This is the front line of the climate emergency. Thousands of homes have been destroyed, many more damaged and people’s premiums are going to go through the roof unless they are covered by the Greens plan.
‘The Parliament needs to urgently pass the Greens amendments in Budget week and help my community recover.’
Adam Bandt concluded by saying, ‘The government is handing public money to the coal and gas corporations that are fuelling these extreme floods.
‘Instead of getting handouts, coal and gas corporations should be footing the bill for the insurance.
‘We call on the government, the opposition and crossbench to back our amendments. Let’s get this done and support flood victims,’ he said.
The Greens have also called for doubling the Disaster Recovery Payment and expanding the eligibility criteria. They note that payments are currently at the same rate as 14 years ago, with eligibility far more onerous than it was for 2011 Brisbane flood victims.