Winmalee Bushfire Victims Priced Out Of Rebuilding Their Own Homes

Shadow Minister for Emergency Services Mark Dreyfus today visited the Blue Mountains town of Winmalee, devastated in a 2013 bushfire which claimed 200 homes, to see first-hand the difficulties victims are having in rebuilding their own homes.

THE HON MARK DREYFUS QC MP

SHADOW ATTORNEY-GENERAL

SHADOW MINISTER FOR EMERGENCY SERVICES

MEMBER FOR ISAACS

 

SUSAN TEMPLEMAN

LABOR CANDIDATE FOR MACQUARIE

WINMALEE BUSHFIRE VICTIMS PRICED OUT OF REBUILDING THEIR OWN HOMES 

Shadow Minister for Emergency Services Mark Dreyfus today visited the Blue Mountains town of Winmalee, devastated in a 2013 bushfire which claimed 200 homes, to see first-hand the difficulties victims are having in rebuilding their own homes.

Labor’s candidate for Macquarie, Susan Templeman, was one of those who lost their homes in the fire two-and-a-half years ago.

Many homeowners choosing to rebuild have faced the problem of underinsurance. Building requirements introduced by state and federal governments to promote safety in areas at high bushfire risk have increased the cost of rebuilding, but insurance companies have failed to provide adequate or appropriate advice to homeowners to upgrade their insurance cover accordingly.

“I know first-hand the problems many in my community have had, when they find their insurance cover does not provide enough to rebuild their own home. Three years later, some homeowners have not even been able to begin construction. I am glad to have hosted Mr Dreyfus in Winmalee today and have been able to discuss what a re-elected Labor government could do to help,” Ms Templeman said.

“After the devastating floods in Queensland in 2013, the Gillard Labor government worked with insurers to clarify flood insurance policies and simplify the information around flood risk insurance so that consumers were fully aware of which level of cover they needed,” Mr Dreyfus said.

“I call on the Abbott-Turnbull government and Emergency Services Minister Michael Keenan to work with insurance companies now to ensure that victims of bushfires do not face the same underinsurance problems that we are now seeing in Winmalee. Further clarity from insurers is clearly needed. It is very important that people who live in bushfire zones are fully aware of the level of cover they need, should the worst occur.”

THURSDAY, 21 APRIL 2016