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23      Historical Events— Townsville flood anniversary

Senator Urquhart, at the request of Senators Green, Watt, Chisholm and Waters and pursuant to notice of motion not objected to as a formal motion, moved general business notice of motion no. 369—That the Senate notes that:

(a)              one year ago, flood waters peaked in Townsville in one of the worst natural disasters to have impacted the region;

(b)              five people lost their lives due to the flood and 3,300 homes were damaged;

(c)              more than 30,700 insurance claims have been lodged, with hundreds of people still waiting to move back into their homes;

(d)             Emergency Service personnel, Australian Defence Force personnel and volunteers worked tirelessly during the peak of the flood waters and in the rebuild efforts afterwards;

(e)              the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) inquiry into northern Australian insurance found insurance premiums rose by 130% in northern Australia over the past decade, compared to just over 50% in the rest of the country;

(f)               the ACCC found that the number of homes with no building insurance in Townsville has more than doubled from 9% in 2011 to 20% in 2019;

(g)              the ACCC has made 28 recommendations aimed at making insurance in north Queensland fairer, and more transparent; and

(h)             the people of Townsville urgently need affordable and fair insurance to ensure they are protected from future weather events.

Statement by leave : The Assistant Minister for Forestry and Fisheries (Senator Duniam), by leave, made a statement relating to the motion.

Question put and passed.