Whitsunday Neighbourhood Centre CEO Rebecca Woods has brought the ICA to the Whitsundays once more to hear your story.
Whitsunday Neighbourhood Centre CEO Rebecca Woods has brought the ICA to the Whitsundays once more to hear your story. James Graham

Not too late to book to see ICA

AS THE Whitsundays reaches the one-year milestone since Cyclone Debbie, locals are still waiting for insurance claims to be finalised.

And nobody has fought for this issue to be resolved more than Whitsunday Neighbourhood Centre's Centre's Chief Executive Officer Rebecca Wood.

Ms Wood said the statistics Suncorp Insurance has given her, estimating 95 per cent claims finalised, still leaves around 1200 claims waiting.

"There are people who have put a claim in 12 months ago who haven't had repairs completed," she said.

"And those 95 per cent claims finalised do not include people who have gone back and re-opened their claims when they discovered more damage not originally noted in the first scope of works or people who just took payouts after they were left in limbo.

Then there are the issues of original scopes of works being completed by under-qualified or unqualified contractors, Ms Wood said.

"There are people who have found new issues in their homes or businesses which weren't picked up originally by unqualified or under qualified tradesmen."

All of this has culminated in the Insurance Council of Australia coming back to the region over the next two days to meet with people still experiencing issues with their insurance claims.

"I invited the ICA back because it means the community can have their issues heard and heard by someone who has the power to make changes," she said.

The ICA will provide 20-minute interviews with you and your insurance rep in Proserpine tomorrow (Friday, March 16) and the Whitsunday Neighbourhood Centre on Saturday, March 17.

Dawson MP George Christensen has also jumped on board to champion the cause, asking people with insurance issues which have not been settled to speak up.

"If anyone in the Mackay, Proserpine, Whitsunday and Bowen regions is still trying to settle claims, finalise unresolved scopes of work or any other insurance issues I would ask them to make contact with either my office or the Whitsunday Neighbourhood Centre," Mr Christensen said.

"We are approaching the one year anniversary of Cyclone Debbie, and I want to ensure that all insurance issues are resolved.

"My office has been working closely with a number of affected residents who have had difficult claims and a protracted settlement process.

"If others are having difficulties and are battling the process on their own, I do encourage them to seek help."

People with insurance issues can contact Mr Christensen's office on 4944 0662 or email details to george.christensen.mp@aph.gov.au

Appointments are still available with the ICA, for more information or to book call 1800 734 621 or visit www.disasters.org.au /forums for details.

Whitsunday region residents can also contact the Whitsunday Neighbourhood Centre on 4946 7850 or email nc@whitnc.org.au


WHAT: Insurance Council of Australia consultations

WHEN: Friday and Saturday

WHERE: Proserpine Community Centre and Whitsunday Neighbourhood Centre

COST: Free