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Cyclone issues tip of the problem, Greens Senator says

Australians around the country who will not benefit from the Federal Government’s planned cyclone reinsurance bill should have their voices heard, Greens Senator Nick McKim said last week in referring the bill to committee scrutiny.

Senator McKim says the government is looking to take actions on cyclones because insurance companies are “vacating the field” due to climate change, but issues around getting insurance will increasingly affect other regions.

“This is a valid and growing area of concern around the whole country. It's only going to get worse,” he told the Senate.

“It's critical that this bill be referred to an inquiry, so that Australians from right around the country who will not benefit from this bill can have their voices heard, and Australians who are extremely worried about the lack of climate action and climate ambition with both major parties in this place can make those views heard.”

Senator McKim said ultimately companies producing “massive carbon emissions” should be funding schemes such as the reinsurance pool.

The Senate Economics Legislation Committee will report back on the bill by March 24, as the Federal Government faces a tight timetable to meet a planned July start for the scheme.

The next joint sittings of the House of Representatives and the Senate will be held on March 29 and 30. The Federal Government is set to deliver the Budget on the last Tuesday of next month, ahead of an election due by the end of May.

Strata Community Association Queensland President Kristi Kinast says it is critical parliament passes the legislation before the election.

“Residents of Northern Australia have faced a decade long struggle for a reinsurance pool and premium relief and to see this light at the end of the tunnel extinguished would be devastating for those communities,” she said.

Ms Kinast says if the bill isn’t passed before the federal poll, there would be concerns “as to when or if” it will be enacted, particularly if there is a change of government.

“The sooner we have assurance around what this looks like and confirmation on timing, the better,” she told

The government is yet to release detailed pricing formulas for the pool, but has flagged savings of up to 58% for the most-affected strata properties,

“We are hopeful of that. We can’t be confident until we see the modelling, but it would certainly bring about the equity that we are aiming for with this program,” Ms Kinast said.