State Government to further discuss northern insurance

Shannon BeattiePilbara News
Insurance costs in Northern Australia are sky high.
Camera IconInsurance costs in Northern Australia are sky high. Credit: Pilbara News, Louise Allingham

The State Government has committed to discussing the prospect of re-basing stamp duty on insurance premiums in the North West and using stamp duty revenue to fund mitigation works.

The commitment was made by Minister for Regional Development Alannah MacTiernan in Parliament last week after Nationals WA deputy leader Jacqui Boydell called on the State Government to outline its position on the ACCC’s Northern Australia Insurance Inquiry first interim report.

The first two recommendations of the report related to changes to stamp duty and it was only two weeks ago Treasurer Ben Wyatt told Pilbara News there were no plans to act on either.

However, last Thursday Ms MacTiernan said she would like to discuss with the Treasurer recommendation No.2 of the commission’s report.

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“It is probably one recommendation that is realistic and about re-basing stamp duty,” she said.

“At the moment, stamp duty is based on the premium that is paid, not the value of the underlying property.”

Ms Boydell said the aim of last week’s debate in State Parliament was to put the issue squarely on the agenda of the State Government.

“In her response to our calls, the Regional Development Minister acknowledged that this has long been an issue and promised to act,” she said.

“I am thrilled Minister MacTiernan has agreed with The Nationals WA that this is a serious issue for those who live in the North of our State and I thank her for her commitment to take this issue to the treasurer.”

Ms MacTiernan said the Government did not deny the climate risk in Northern Australia, but would like to give greater equity to people who had to insure.

“In respect of that second recommendation, I undertake to raise it with the treasurer to see whether there is any possibility of us dealing with it in the future,” she said.

No timeline was given for the discussion.

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