Statement attributable to Rob Whelan, CEO, Insurance Council of Australia:
The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) welcomes today’s announcement by the Andrews Government that it will coordinate and pay for the removal of debris and site clearance for all bushfire-affected property owners in Victoria.
This arrangement treats all affected property owners fairly and equally. It should result in faster and safer site clean-up for many, and help ensure greater community safety in the removal and transport of potentially hazardous materials.
Government-funded clean-up will also enable insurers to maximise the funds available in their customers’ policies for rebuilding.
The Victorian Government’s prioritisation of local sub-contractors will play an important role in the economic recovery of bushfire-affected communities.
The ICA welcomes the Commonwealth’s financial involvement in this arrangement with Victoria and encourages all state governments to adopt similar models to assist communities in their bushfire recoveries.
Government-funded clean-up was a notable component of recovery efforts following the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires and is widely regarded as best practice after a natural disaster.