Roger Ward: Australia’s equivalent of the Poll Tax for NQ homeowners

Friday January 24th 2014

Australia’s equivalent of the Poll Tax for NQ homeowners

With Gavin King meeting the Premier, the talk fest continues without any real action to lower home insurance premiums for Far North Queenslanders.

This premium hike for North Queensland residents is like a Poll Tax on homeowners.

My estimates are that these outrageous insurance premiums are taking hundreds of millions of dollars out of the local economy and relocating it in the pockets of the insurance industry. It doesn’t matter if you are a pensioner, disabled or your average battler, everyone gets slugged with these premiums while our southern neighbours pay premiums less than a third of what we pay here.

In a recent comparison between identical properties with Suncorp, who state on its website their insurance is “The must have Queensland Insurance”, a property in Western Sydney was insured for $1,024.00 where the comparable property in Kewarra Beach was a whopping $3,217.00. So much for a bank who looks after Queenslanders. In fact, Suncorp has been making so much money from these higher premiums it even recently made a special dividend to shareholders as its profits were so swollen from premiums gathered from its insurance division.

These high insurance costs are an additional burden to every household in North Queensland and in simple terms it places a tariff on properties in the north. 

In banking terms, insurance premiums are seen as fixed costs to owning real estate and these inflated costs have translated to downward pressure on Queensland property asset values, especially for the strata investor market.

With Gavin King's efforts recently, you would think the State Government would be a little more advanced in its efforts to assist home owners in North Queensland.

At the time of writing, Gavin King's website has no reference at all to this issue which has such a critical effect on North Queensland households, especially low income earners.


Roger Ward is a local finance professional at and host of