A sceptical Bob Katter, KAP Federal Member for Kennedy has dismissed the claims made by several coalition MPs this week that a reinsurance pool to tackle high insurance prices in the north is likely to happen, saying “we will believe it when we see it.”
Mr Katter has been a leading voice on the issue of exploding insurance premiums in North Queensland over the last six years and slammed the Federal Member for Leichhardt for his coat-tail praise-pursuance of the reinsurance pool this week, five years on from single-handedly destroying the traction made on the issue back then.
“If he had acted five years ago after our meetings which attracted more than 3,000 people, we’d have this issue fixed, so it is rather interesting that we are suddenly hearing from the Government now.
“Five years ago, we had built up tremendous pressure upon the Government and he dissipated it completely. He told us he had it all under control and had an inquiry that did absolutely nothing. We lost all of our momentum and pressure and after five years he’s coming back in to try and claim the credit and yet he has no leverage and no power. So clearly if we are going to get it now, it isn’t coming from him. We know that for sure.”
Mr Katter said that if the reinsurance pool was approved, it would be because of the leverage held by George Christensen and the strength of the crossbench.
“We are in the very strong position and clearly George Christensen is in a very strong position given they know he is prepared to cross the floor.
“The Member for Leichhardt and that Queensland Senator wouldn’t cross the floor if they had a taser on them – we know that for sure! They have no leverage but clearly George Christensen has and clearly I have and for them to be coming out now after the Member for Leichhardt took all the wind out of our sails five years ago is just embarrassing.”
Mr Katter said that Allianz Insurance had said publicly that they will provide insurance for North Queenslanders at an acceptable rate so long as they can access a reinsurance pool.
“I have had lengthy discussions with Allianz and I think they are fair dinkum.
“But I want to emphasise, I just get so angry with people that will never make a stand for us. They big note themselves in the media but have never made a stand for us ever. I’ve seen so many people make such hugesacrifices. I had to walk away from a seat I could have held for the rest of my life because of these b..a..s..t..a..r..d..s.
“But they have proven again and again, unless they are threatened, and unless you are prepared to threaten them for something you believe in, nothing happens. Well let’s just see what happens now when you aren’t confident you have numbers, you have a very strong crossbench and George Christensen willing to cross the floor.”
Northern Australia Insurance Premiums Taskforce Interim Report, Submission by Allianz Australia Insurance Ltd – https://treasury.gov.au/consultation/naip-taskforce-consultation