No insurance coverage due to increased fire risk
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No insurance coverage due to increased fire risk

The inability of some East Gippsland business and property owners to obtain fire coverage insurance has been raised in State Parliament this week.

Gippsland East, Nationals MP, Tim Bull, said the owners of the Coonawarra Farm Resort at Glenaladale have been advised their insurance will not be renewed because the nearby State Forest presents an unacceptable fire risk.

“They have contacted 40 insurers with no success,” Mr Bull said, who added a resident of Swifts Creek was in a similar position.

“It seems insurance companies are making this judgement after years of mismanagement of fuel loads on Crown Land, which reached record levels prior to last summer’s fires after the Government achieved just 43% of its already greatly reduced fuel reduction burn target.

“The situation is, we cannot have the State Government burning less and less and therefore allowing fuel loads to build up, but not take responsibility for the outcome of these actions.

“Unless we have some intervention, we will see an exodus of businesses from rural areas, as it is too big a risk to run a business without appropriate insurance coverage and to achieve this, we need confidence fuel loads are being managed properly.

Monday, March 8, 2021

“The reality is we are fuel reduction burning less than around a third of what was being treated in 2013.

“The Government must start taking some action, or take responsibility for the consequences of that lack of action,” he said.

Caption: Coonawarra Farm Resort Managers Krystal and Lewis Ciaglia with Member for Gippsland East Tim Bull, discussing their challenges in obtaining insurance for the picturesque camp.