Rising Cost Of Insurance Paralysing The Queensland Community
"Liability cover wiping out communities" (The Sunday Mail, 19/9/2004)

THE soaring cost of public liability insurance is tearing the heart out of Queensland communities, say the organisers of a state-wide protest.

Hundreds of community and volunteer groups from around the state have signed an E-petition calling for a public inquiry into the crisis.

"Across Queensland, rising public liability costs are halting festivals, impacting on local sporting groups and stopping community organisations from getting together," said Jeff Cheverton, spokesman for the Queensland Council of Social Service. "While the insurance industry is posting-record profits, the cost of public liability is wiping out community life."

Examples include:

"We get horror stories every week about the impact of insurance issues on groups and services," said Mr Cheverton.

The E-petition also calls for the reinstatement of a Queensland Government insurance office or support for a national scheme such as the Accident Compensation Commission in New Zealand. That scheme rolls together third party motor vehicle insurance, workers' compensation and public liability into a no-fault scheme which costs most taxpayers less than $10 per week.

More than 800 groups have signed the E-petition and hundreds more are expected to join them before it closes on October 15. To vote, go to www.parliament.qld.gov.au and press the E-petition button.