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Monday, 22 October 1973
Page: 2403

Mr JACOBI (HAWKER, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - Has the Treasurer noted the annual report of the New South Wales Consumer Affairs Bureau relating to the deplorable activities of the Australian Motorists and General Insurance and Ajax Insurance companies? Will he take immediate steps to have the allegations forwarded to the Insurance Commissioner for investigation? What progress has been made in determining the terms of reference for the setting up of an expert committee of inquiry into the general insurance industry? What progress has been made in the preparation of the legislation concerning insurance brokers?

Mr CREAN - My attention has been drawn to the conduct of certain insurance companies mentioned by the honourable gentleman and I shall certainly bring it to the attention of the new insurance commissioner. I would think that the commissioner has probably already had it brought to his attention. Of course, it was the misconduct of certain firms dealing with general insurance that made necessary the legislation that was drawn up by the previous government and ultimately passed by the present Government. I hope to be able to make an announcement in a short time about an expert committee. It has taken some time to set up the general insurance office, to get it staffed and to get it premises. I had a talk with Mr Bassett last week. We are considering personnel for the committee. The third part of the honourable gentleman's question related to insurance brokers. Discussions have been held in Canberra between officials of the Australian Government and representatives of insurance underwriters. A draft scheme for supervisory legislation has reached a fairly advanced stage of preparation. The insurance brokers associations and representatives of insurance - underwriters are currently making submissions on the proposed legislation. Furthermore, there have been communications between the Prime Minister and the State Premiers seeking agreement to a meeting of Australian Government and State officials to discuss the introduction of the proposed legislation.

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