The strata sector has welcomed the passage of a federal bill to establish a cyclone and flood damage reinsurance pool to improve insurance affordability in cyclone-prone areas.
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The Strata Community Association (SCA) said this legislation was the “tip of the iceberg”, describing it as a critical starting point for fixing the issues in the strata sector.
Upon passage of the bill, the Minister for Housing Michael Sukkar noted that strata schemes in at-risk areas would see savings of up to 58 per cent on their premium discounts.
SCA national president Chris Duggan said these savings were critically needed in the sector.
“Insurance is one of the biggest issues facing our sector and we are working together to solve it. These issues are spreading beyond northern Australia, affordability and availability of insurance are critical matters for strata,” said Mr Duggan.
“Taxes and levies remain a huge issue, they are almost 40 per cent of the premium cost in some states, action must be taken, this is simply untenable,” he added.
SCA Queensland president Kristi Kinast agreed that the insurance pool would provide great relief to many strata communities but more needed to be done.
“We are glad the federal government has taken the steps to ensure that strata owners are not forgotten people.
“The reinsurance pool will make a big difference to strata owners and managers; however, it is only the first step in solving this ongoing strata insurance crisis,” Ms Kinast said.
Ms Kinast opined that it’s now time for the state government to do its share of the lifting to help northern strata owners.
“We are asking the state government to rebase, rebate or abolish stamp duty on north Queensland strata insurance premiums. The cascading effect of bigger taxes on higher premiums is a crippling and vicious cycle for strata owners,” Ms Kinast said.
“Governments at all levels must work together to help solve this crisis, we urge councils and the state governments to help improve strata community resilience.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Based in Sydney, Juliet Helmke has a broad range of reporting and editorial experience across the areas of business, technology, entertainment and the arts. She was formerly Senior Editor at The New York Observer.
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