When will we get our say?

In May 2017 the Federal Treasurer directed the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to conduct an inquiry into home, contents and strata insurance in northern Australia. In November 2020, the ACCC delivered its final report,  stating: ‘Between 2007–08 and 2018–19, average home insurance premiums rose in real terms by 178% in northern Australia (compared to a 52% increase in the rest of Australia)…In 2018-19, the average premium for combined home and contents insurance across northern Australia was approximately $2,500, almost double that for the rest of Australia ($1,400).

On 3rd May 2021, the Federal Government announced reform and committed to underwriting a re-insurance pool which is touted to reduce insurance costs to north Australians. Why did the reinsurance reforms take 14 plus years? How do we get back what we have already lost in premiums and ‘double taxes’?

Families and businesses are still reeling from years and months of the insurance debacle, and political disregard by successive ALP and LNP governments. When we have asked for a ‘choice’ to walk our own road, both parties have refused. Enough!
It’s time for us (the people of North Queensland) to take up the challenge and demand that we have our choice so that we never have to endure what we have experienced ever again.

“If you want the future to be different, you have to think differently today”

(S Biko)

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On Wednesday 4 September 2019, during the sitting of Parliament in Townsville, the Member for Whitsunday asked the following question of the Premier Anastasia Palaszczuk: ” .. will the Premier commit to a referendum on statehood for North Queensland?’
Here is the question and the reply:
Questions Without Notice 2709
North Queensland, Statehood
Mr COSTIGAN: My question is to the Premier and Minister for Trade. With parliament finally returning to Townsville after a 17-year hiatus and given the current community sentiment, will the Premier commit to a referendum on statehood for North Queensland?
Ms PALASZCZUK: I thank the member for Whitsunday for the question. Let me say from the outset: I love Townsville and I love Queensland, and under my watch I am never going to see a divided Queensland. I love this state. I love our State of Origin team. We will always commit to making sure that we deliver for Queenslanders no matter where they live. I love this state. I love the people and I know that every single member of my team is absolutely passionate about the communities that they represent.
It gives me great pride to bring the government and the parliament to Townsville and those on this side of the House loved coming to Townsville—unlike those opposite. No wonder they did not want to come to Townsville. With their track record, I would not want to come here either if I was them! Members of the former Newman cabinet are still here and if there is one thing I can say it is this: you cannot trust the LNP. I know that the community members of Townsville—the families of Townsville— will never forget.
Mr Mander: We’ll find out.

Mr COSTIGAN: Mr Speaker, I rise to a point of order. I have given the Premier plenty of time to answer the question, but I rise on relevance. I asked about a referendum—

Mr SPEAKER: Thank you, member for Whitsunday. Premier, regarding the question asked, do you have anything further to add?
Mrs Frecklington interjected.
Ms PALASZCZUK: Absolutely, Mr Speaker, and I will take the Leader of the Opposition’s interjection. It was a dixer. It was an absolute dixer today in that I love this state. The people of Queensland love this state and we work best when we all work together. When we are united, we can do anything and I firmly believe that Queensland’s best days are ahead of us. We have so much potential. There is so much optimism. It is the people of this state working together that continue to work in the best interests of their families, and we will continue to deliver for them.

As we head towards the State election in October 2024, there is one question north Queenslanders want answered from all candidates:
“Do you support the people of the North having a democratic choice on whether to become the 7th State?”