Whinge or fix it: that is the question!

I wrote at the time how disappointed I was that the Federal Government only earmarked a token $26.1 million towards disaster mitigation for the Federal Budget in 2017-2018.  (To get the benefit the states have to match this dollar for dollar).

At the same time Federal and State politicians are complaining about the high cost of insurance.

Rather than genuinely address the problem, the insurance industry is again being demonised with the Federal Government announcing in the same budget that $7.9 million will be spent over 4 years to enable the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to monitor and report on prices, costs and profits in the northern Australia insurance market. This is despite the fact the Auditor General’s reported stating that insurance in Northern Australia has been historically under priced. I would argue that this $7.9 million would be better spent in disaster mitigation albeit a drop in the bucket of what is really needed to protect our communities and economy, not to mention individual households and businesses. 

Parking one of the major issues, that being the high level of government taxation on insurance for a moment. But before I do, I did hear that President Trump is planning a trip to New South Wales. His logic is that it is the only state in the world where the leader is more incompetent than he is proving to be. At least he could get the Emergency Service Levy right! – This of course could all be “fake” news.

Anyway, moving on, let us compare Australia’s spend with say what Canada invests in their Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund.

While we plan on spending $26.1 million they plan on spending $2,000 million. That is Canada is spending 76.63 times as much! As a graph, it looks like this!

Yes they are marginally bigger in land mass:

and yes they have about 1/2 as many people again


Joseph de Maistre wrote: Every nation gets the government it deserves.  I disagree. Australia deserves better!

Perhaps we could reinstate 457 visas specifically for Canadian politicians to come and show us how to run a government.

5 responses to “Whinge or fix it: that is the question!”

  1. Allan, I can’t help but wonder whether non conforming building products (NCBP’s) (especially plumbing ones in this case) are a significant factor behind the extent of any damage caused by weather events in FNQ. The potential role of NCBP’s is slowly starting to be exposed by events such as the Grenfell Tower fire, but it’s far more extensive than just cladding. I believe any further investigations into potential mitigation of losses in FNQ should address NCBP’s as a key issue. The insurance industry obviously has a major vested interest in this and if the government won’t act sufficiently, the insurance industry should fund that investigation instead. I am well aware for example that ALL rain-heads fitted to buildings in FNQ are totally non-compliant with AS/NZS3500.3 – that’s because you can’t even purchase one on the market anywhere in Australia that is actually compliant (or remotely compliant) with the standard. Existing rain-heads are therefore totally inadequate to cope with the 1:100ARI rainfall events mandated under the standard and which will occur during major weather events so in the event of even modest rainfall yet along major rainfall, especially where debris is also involved, box gutters are currently blocked at the outlets by these non compliant devices. This allows the box gutters to fill and overflow, then flood the building internally causing potentially immense damage. I would be very interested to know how many such “overflowing gutter” type claims were filed after the last cyclone event, or any previous ones for that matter. If these could all be entirely avoided simply by ensuring no NCBP’s were present, surely that’s where we need to start.

  2. Allan says:

    Good point David. Disappointingly, the industry does not seem to work together to fund such studies.

    The first issue is to get someone to start producing the correct rain head unless they are manufactured on site by the plumber.

    I think it is a bit late but I could at least ask my team if this was an issue. Do you have a photo of the compliant one?

  3. Hi Allan, there is a diagram of an (ugly) compliant one in AS3500.3 which I am happy to email to you. There are various issues with them hence why nobody makes one, on site or otherwise. Any ‘ad hoc’ assembly also risks the device not being able to comply with the Standards it is supposed to be complying with. I am pleased to say that compliant ones which are aesthetically acceptable will be on the Australian market within the next month or so – I am also happy to make a time to bring one in to your office if you want to see it.

  4. Allan says:

    Sorry for the delay and yes would like to see it.

  5. David Pockett says:

    Hi Allan, no problems and happy to bring one in next week some time. I will be passing the Camberwell area on Friday 17/11 or else I could make time on Tuesday 14/11 around 11:00am. Please let me know. I’ll also send you a direct email.

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