More support arrives in Australia’s flood-stricken areas

Insurance assessors, telecommunications technicians, and banking staff arrive in the flood-affected areas of Queensland and New South Wales, allowing communities to begin a slow recovery process as the catastrophic floods recede. I helped.

Steve Johnston, CEO of Suncorp Group, who spent time with staff and customers in the Lismore and Northern Rivers regions, said the flood caused the most extensive devastation in 17 years at a Brisbane-based insurance company.

Suncorp uses aerial photography and real-time data to send assessors to where they need them most, and has received over 32,000 customer claims so far.

“We will focus on accommodation billing, talk to customers in the affected areas, arrange urgent payments and temporary accommodation,” said Johnston.

At the same time, multinational QBE insurance continued to be amazed by the magnitude of losses from natural disasters, securing $ 1 billion to deal with the 2021/2022 catastrophe.

Epoch Times Photo
On March 11, 2022, the word “no looting” was sprayed on abandoned furniture outside a flood-affected house in Murwillumbah, Australia. (Dan Peled / Getty Images)

The first wave of 120,000 claims is estimated to have reached $ 2 billion ($ 1.45 billion).

However, after the floods destroyed fiber optic cables and power lines, people applied for flood relief and struggled to get cash from ATMs without telephone, internet, or electricity functioning.

Anna Bligh, CEO of the Australian Bankers Association, said banks are working with the local community to help flood-affected residents get cash to buy their necessities. Said that he was.

“Banks in boxes” shipping containers were installed in parking lots, damaged malls, and some shelters, allowing companies to unload deposit bags and people to withdraw up to $ 2,000. rice field.

Starting March 12, all four major Australian banks (including Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank, ANZ and Westpac) will be able to use the above units or mobile ATMs in Lismore and will be newly installed in Gympie and Ballina. You can now access the ATM. Southern Cross University campus.

“When the water recedes, the subsequent recovery period is very long and very slow,” Bry said.

in the meantime, NetVaultAustralia’s telecommunications service company, which transports 10 Starlink satellite internet dishes to the affected areas, provides people with free internet access.

“We don’t rely on cell phone towers or fiber infrastructure. This is a big devastation problem in New South Wales,” said NetVault IT engineer Radek Tkaczyk.

“The fiber connections have been washed away. They have gone.”

Tkaczyk delivered the donated $ 10,000 worth of Starlink satellite dishes by truck to Lismore, helping the community install them.

“Some of these communities we’re talking about have been offline for over a week,” he said.

And he didn’t understand why people were left without the internet for so long.

“This is frustrating. I don’t know what happened,” said Tkaczyk.

“The most important thing is to be with the people who need the food most.

“That is, the fact that you can set up your Starlink device very quickly, make phone calls, and update people via WhatsApp, all Voice Overs (Internet Protocol Services) is great.”

On the other hand, many residents in the flood-affected areas find it even more difficult to recover because of the high premiums that prevented them from being insured before the disaster.

The Australian Insurance Council, the representative body of the national general insurance industry, is more affordable only if the council or government mitigates risk by building or upgrading dams and embankments and raising housing. I said it would be a good price. Maximum flood threshold.

“Australia is constantly experiencing extreme weather,” said Andrew Hall, CEO of the Insurance Council.

“But if different results are needed, the future Australian Government will need to renovate their homes and invest more in measures to better protect their communities.”

Insurance Australia Group (IAG) Leplastrier reflects Hall’s remarks by governments to mitigate disasters to protect vulnerable communities from the negative effects of disasters and address the potential risks of floods, cyclones and bushfires. He said he needed to prioritize larger investments.

He said the federal reinsurance pool planned for cyclones and cyclone-related flood risks would make insurance more affordable for homes and small businesses in northern Australia.

Alfred buoy


Alfred Bui is a Melbourne-based Australian reporter with a focus on local and business news. He is a former small business owner and holds two master’s degrees in business and business law. Contact him at [email protected]