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flexibility and a different orientation than the strict commercial approach that might be taken. I think that is a fairly reasonable place for a government-sponsored insurance authority to be in the spectrum of things.
In relation to Dr Foskey’s concerns about community organisations, without having the detail of any individual cases, I have to say that I think that the insurance authority has done a tremendous job in being able to assist not only community organisations but also a wider range of organisations through the public liability crisis. I think there was one case, a business, which we could not assist. In all other cases the insurance authority has been able, in one way or another, to assist businesses and community organisations that would otherwise be finding it difficult to get insurance cover.
In that regard they have done a fantastic job, as an established community care underwriting agency, in providing public liability insurance to all community organisations—not just those performing government services. Over the last couple of years during the insurance crisis smaller organisations have had a very difficult time. The insurance industry just closed their doors to a lot of the organisations that had taken insurance with them for many years and had a claims history of zero.
Their risk profiles were being calculated in London, Zurich and New York. By the time we got to Australia and its share of the world market, and then to Canberra and its share of the Australian market, the arbitrary nature of the approach that had been taken world-wide had quite a significant impact on organisations that, frankly, did not deserve the treatment they were getting. Through the hard work of a number of highly skilled people who have not just been doing a job but have dedicated themselves to delivering this service, we have been able to help pretty well everybody. That performance should never go understated. It was a tremendous effort in a very difficult time.
We now find in this time of greater focus on insurance that not only do we need to have a process to make sure our agencies have coverage and that we are able to get the most cost-effective reinsurance but also that at the same time we need to run it in as commercial a manner as we can, with the overlay that we care about the client. Those might not necessarily be the objectives of some of the insurance companies with which we have dealt in previous times.
I thank members of the Assembly for their support and assure them that I am very confident that the job the insurance authority has done in recent times will continue at its very high standard.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Bill agreed to in principle.
Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.
Bill agreed to.
Unit Titles Amendment Bill 2005
Debate resumed from 10 March 2005, on motion by Mr Corbell: