Thanks for your post, Jasmine Ross (Posted November 25, 2014 …

Comment on Giles snubs Alice Springs on TIO and flood risk by Bob Durnan.

Thanks for your post, Jasmine Ross (Posted November 25, 2014 at 1:18 pm).
On the subject of the TIO sale, I realise it is likely “that TIO would have increased premiums anyway” (at least, it would have done so under the tender tutelage of the cash-gouging Giles regime, although that would not necessarily have occurred if Giles had not wanted it to happen).
However, the issue is the level of increase that would have been considered warranted if TIO had remained in public ownership (an issue connected with the government’s judgement about the level of subsidy needed, which is a social-political issue at least as much as it is an economic one), versus the extent that this will occur in future years under the autocratic rule of the corporate giant which has acquired TIO’s insurance operation.
Will this corporate giant sacrifice the social needs of the Territory, as soon as it is able, in favour of what it terms the legitimate outcomes of “market forces” i.e. high profits for its own shareholders, and extremely attractive remuneration packages for its executives?
As you say: “At the moment people have subsidised premiums for living in these zones. These subsidies are basically carried by other policy holders and ultimately the tax payer.”
Exactly, but the great bulk of this subsidy comes from – and could have continued to come from – the fiscal equalisation grants which benefit the Territory government’s coffers from Commonwealth taxes, and these come from revenue raised by Canberra’s take across Australia.
This is NOT “false economics”: It is an outcome of the determination of the Australian people as a whole to support having civil and defence services and administrative capacity (and consequently, some commercial operators) in the difficult living environments of Australia’s remote arid and tropical regions.
You may think that TIO would have been “doomed to fail if we again have a major flood like the previous one in Katherine a few years ago”, but you would be wrong. The Commonwealth and NT governments would have taken steps to cover the balance, just as they did in the reconstruction following the bombing of Darwin, Cyclone Tracy and the Katherine floods, similar to what has occurred in Queensland following several natural catastrophes, and similar to what responsible governments did all over the world to prevent bank collapses during the 2008 financial crises.

Bob Durnan Also Commented

Giles snubs Alice Springs on TIO and flood risk
Nice go, apart from the unnecessary abuse of the Labor side of politics, Jasmine Ross (Posted December 1, 2014 at 9:58 am). However, you misinterpret, or choose to distort, what I said about fiscal equalisation. Subsidising TIO premiums, in times of relatively normal operations and small to medium disasters, is a separate issue to the once-off bail-outs, via other special measures, following a catastrophic event, to avoid insolvency of key institutions and widescale flight by much of the population to less risky environments.

Giles snubs Alice Springs on TIO and flood risk
Re the threatened sale of TIO, Jasmine Ross (Posted November 22, 2014 at 11:40 am): You seem to be unaware that the many other insurance companies which offer flood and storm surge cover charge much more to policy holders situated in flood zones, and are usually much more reluctant to make prompt payouts.
I believe that the sale of TIO will be an unmitigated disaster for a great number of Territorians, and the flow-on effects to the rest of us will also be severe, as house prices will dip significantly, and many people will be forced to sell up cheap and leave the Territory rather than face catastrophic risk without the adequate compensation that they thought would be available when they bought their homes.

Giles snubs Alice Springs on TIO and flood risk
I am intrigued by one of your assertions Jasmine Ross (Posted November 22, 2014 at 11:40 am). You state that “schemes such as Sentenced to Work [are] showing early signs of a revolutionary approach to stopping repeat offenders and potentially lower the appalling rate of Indigenous incarceration.”
As a supporter of this experiment by Attorney General Elferink, I was not aware that any data was already released showing indications as to its efficacy in stopping re-offending. What are the signs you are referring to?

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Wrong again Matthew Langan (Posted August 26, 2019 at 6:44 pm).
It was actually “big knob socialist flogs” from the CLP who talked up and used government funds to build the Desert Park, the Araluen Arts Centre and the Strehlow Museum.
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