Premier Campbell Newman says he will take recommendations from a Federal Parliament insurance report to Prime Minister Tony Abbott to try to lower premiums in north Queensland.
Rising insurance costs dominated a discussion at a community forum yesterday with Mr Newman in Ingham, north of Townsville.
He was in Ingham to update the community on the effect of the Queensland Plan on regions.
The State Government says it is providing its flood maps for free to help insurance providers charge the correct amount.
Mr Newman says the State Government cannot force insurance companies to use detailed flood maps to assess north Queensland insurance costs.
“We need a hand here, because if we don’t solve this insurance issue it’s going to hold back the far north and north in so many ways,” he said.
“It’s an issue that prohibits development or inhibits development, it is a huge cost of living issue for people.”
Mr Newman says many of the recommendations to lower costs have been ignored.
“We’re going to take the findings of that report which haven’t been implemented, [then] work out exactly what the Queensland Government is prepared to back,” he said.
“Then myself, with people like [Queensland Mines Minister] Andrew Cripps and Gavin King, the Member for Cairns, and other members from Townsville, together we’ll go to the Federal Government and say this is what the Queensland Government wants implemented.”
Ingham Chamber of Commerce president Mary Brown says locals questioned Mr Newman over his efforts to drive down insurance costs.
“How the insurance assessments are being done and how some of the companies are choosing not to insure in certain areas?” she said.
“That obviously does have that kind of flow-on – it makes it that little bit less attractive when people are trying to make decisions about where they want to live.
“Especially if you’re in an area that an insurance company has deemed higher risk than perhaps another area.”
She says Mr Newman assured residents work was underway to address the issue.
“He gave quite a lengthy explanation to the process and whose responsibility and jurisdiction that insurance falls into,” she said.
“He also explained the measures the Government is currently undertaking to try and address the issues, so he did give quite a lengthy explanation which I’m sure would have been welcomed to understand what the process is and who takes responsibility.”