Call to review disaster management

Suncorp CEO Patrick Snowball.
Suncorp CEO Patrick Snowball. David Nielsen

AUSTRALIA needs a major inquiry into the way natural disasters are managed, according to the head of Suncorp.

CEO Patrick Snowball said the Queensland flood inquiry should be widened to look at reforms to disaster warning, mitigation, risk assessment and community education.

“The only matters that seem to be on the political agenda are flood insurance and the operation of Wivenhoe Dam,” Mr Snowball said.

“That could hardly be considered a substantial reform of Australia’s disaster management or likely to protect the lives of thousands of Australians.”

Mr Snowball addressed an Ipswich Chamber of Commerce luncheon at the Ipswich Club yesterday, and fielded some criticism from the audience in regards to local builders laying off staff and slow response times.

“In Ipswich we have declined more than 100 claims from AAMI customers because their policies didn’t cover the type of damage they were claiming for,” he said.

“The crux of the problem is governments and others are confusing what is needed to protect Australians from natural hazard disasters.”

He said the suggestion full flood insurance should be compulsory for all Australian property owners was pointless as more than 95 per cent of Australian homes were located outside major flood zones.

Topics:  australia disaster management improvements review

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