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Thursday, May 16, 2024

Government intervention needed

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THE MARITIME industry is speaking out after it was announced that marine insurance would not be included in the Cyclone Reinsurance Pool.

The Cyclone Reinsurance Pool is designed to improve accessibility and affordability of insurance to people in cyclone-prone areas.

Marine insurance not being included is expected to have detrimental consequences for coastal communities, such as the Whitsundays.

The Marina Industries Association (MIA), the peak body representing the interests of the maritime industry in Australia, has raised the alarm of insurance affordability and access for marinas in Northern Australia.

Queensland boasts more than 65 marinas, each averaging storage for over 300 boats and providing essential commercial tenancy for thousands of marine and tourism businesses.  

Airlie Beach’s Coral Sea Marina Resort has spoken out calling for urgent government intervention.

“The former LNP Government’s commitment to include marine insurance in the Cyclone Reinsurance Pool, announced during its launch on July 1, 2023, was met with anticipation and hope by marine operators across northern Australia,” Coral Sea Marina’s head of marketing and business development Joscelyn O’Keefe said.

“Regrettably, the decision by the current Labour Government not to include marine insurance in the Cyclone Reinsurance Pool has dealt a significant setback to the maritime industry.

“It has created an atmosphere of uncertainty for marina operators, who were relying on this support to protect their businesses from ever-increasing insurance premiums.

“Marina facilities drive economic growth, support employment and support a network of local small ancillary businesses that service the marina guests, tenants and operators.

“Without inclusion in the Cyclone Reinsurance Pool, marine insurance premiums will inevitably continue to rise and the economic impact on regional tourism areas, such as the Whitsundays, will be significant.

“In the first instance, the maritime industry of Northern Australia is asking the Federal Government to reconsider adding marine insurance to the Cyclone Reinsurance Pool.

“If the Federal Government intends to wait until 2025 for a review…Coral Sea Marina is lobbying the Government for subsidised premiums for marina owners to be considered as an interim measure.”

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