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Premiers call for national response to HIH collapse.

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Government of Western Australia Media Statement

The Hon. Geoff Gallop BEc MA MPhil DPhil MLA Premier; Minister for Public Sector Management; Federal Affairs; Science; Citizenship and Multicultural Interests

Statement Released: 8-May-2001 Portfolio: Premier

Premiers call for national response to HIH collapse 8/5/01

The Premiers of New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and Western Australia met today to discuss the implications of the collapse of HIH.

The four State Governments insisted that the Federal Government accept its responsibilities for the failure of HIH and the co-ordination of a national response.

This disaster occurred under the watch of the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority, the Federal body charged with the responsibility of overseeing the nation's insurance industry.

This body has a budget of $50 million a year to meet those responsibilities.

The Premiers said the Federal Minister for Financial Services and Regulation, Joe Hockey, was charged with responsibility for financial regulation. After all, it was in his Ministerial title.

They called on him to co-ordinate a national response.

The Premiers rejected the Insurance Council of Australia proposal that consumers pick up the total tab.

They called on the Federal Government to convene a national conference, involving all the States and the insurance industry.

This conference must consider:

a range of solutions for stranded policy holders; and ● ways of funding those solutions, including a contribution from the Commonwealth and the insurance industry itself. ●

The Premiers also called on the Federal Government to conduct an inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the collapse.

Media contacts: Nicholas Reece (Victoria) 03 9651 5799 Jim Maher (NSW) 02 9228 3538 Kieran Murphy (WA) 08 9222 9475 Ian Colvin (Tasmania) 0417 576 378

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