Local tradies must come first

I am demanding that all insurance companies give work to local builders and tradesman for Cyclone Debbie recovery work rather than bringing in out-of-towners. I've already heard reports today that builders from out of town have started work in the Mackay area. I had discussions with the Insurance Council of Australia as well as a number of individual insurance companies last week to request that this not happen. I have told them that local tradies must come first, and have asked the ICA to ensure that their Catastrophe Taskforce understands how serious this is for workers on the ground.

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I have just been advised by the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) that they have declared a catastrophe event for the damage caused by Severe Tropical Cyclone Debbie. As a result of that declaration the Insurance Taskforce, comprising all insurers with a claims footprint, has been established, to address and identify any issues that arise. The declaration also means residents of the north can access ICA’s disaster hotline which is now taking calls on 1800 734 621. Please note however that this line is for people with questions or who have lost documentation, not for lodging claims, nor for queries regarding government assistance.

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Insurers stand ready to assist

I'VE held discussions with the Insurance Council of Australia, as well as one of Queensland’s largest insurers Suncorp, today to discuss assistance measures for people dealing with the after-effects of cyclone and storm surge damage. Suncorp have advised me that they have teams on standby to be deployed on the ground and they are gearing up their call centre capacity to take higher numbers of claim calls in the wake of Cyclone Debbie. While we have to await the outcome of Cyclone Debbie to see just what the extent of the damage is to homes and businesses and crops in the Mackay, Whitsundays, Bowen and Burdekin regions, the Insurance Council of Australia can also declare what they call an ‘insurance catastrophe’ depending on the number of people impacted.

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