THE INSURANCE COUNCIL of Australia having welcomed the Victorian Government’s Green Paper on Fire Services and the Non-Insured is gathering more material to present for the Victorian Treasurer John Lenders’ request for details on the insurance data in specific regions of the state.

ICA already is meeting on the study although the submission deadline is some way off.

The council had made a lengthy submission to the Victorian Parliament’s Economic Development and Infrastructure Committee Inquiry in State Government Taxation and Debt in mid-October.

Now, like all other parties involved in a achieving a less controversial and more widespread system of fire and emergency funding in Victoria, the council and its insurer members has been invited to submit more detail, especially on the most exposed and previously affected regions.

The Green Paper is only an investigatory document from the government, but it is the first time such a paper has been released for comment in Victoria.

The Insurance Council said in an immediate comment when the paper was released on October 30, it was “a timely consideration of the key issues surrounding fires services funding in Victoria”.

It noted the paper’s identification of “the need for further discussion between key stakeholders of the alternative fire services funding models, as well as the serious issues of under- and non-insurance that surfaced following the Victorian bushfires in February 2009.”

The Insurance Council mentioned its several submissions over the past few years highlighting “the inequities and inefficiencies in the current Victorian fire services funding system, many of which have been identified in the Green Paper”.

Council submissions included October’s submission to the Victorian Parliament’s Economic Development and Infrastructure Committee Inquiry in State Government Taxation and Debt, two submissions to the Review of Australia’s Tax System and two submissions to the NSW Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) review into state taxation.

The Insurance Council said it was closely reviewing the legal and legislative framework the Victorian Government was introducing to accompany the Green Paper process.

The council is examining the legislative and compliance package needed to support the Green Paper pilot study into non-insurance as this directly impacted the privacy of policy holder information.

When the Insurance Council was restructured in Sydney in the middle of this decade, the senior management ranks were lined with executives who have long experience in dealing with governments from national to municipal jurisdictions.

The council made clear it was always ready “to work closely with state and federal governments to address the issue of fire services funding reform.”

Previously, it had noted in submission to the Victorian Government “the clear consensus from previous state taxation reviews, including that of the Victorian State Business Tax Review (the Harvey Review) are that there are ‘poor’ state taxes and ‘better’ state taxes.”



This article is kindly reproduced with the approval of John Heath –