After a seven-month delay, the government has finally responded to the Senate's inquiry into the Black Summer bushfires. To the surprise of few, the Morrison government has yet again fallen short of actually supporting our bushfire affected communities. Of the 13 recommendations made, the government have refused to support nine. They've refused to support two-thirds of the recommendations, including all those in support of the insurance industry. Every day, I speak with locals and businesses who are unable to obtain affordable insurance, with many unable to insure altogether. The impact of uncertainty is crippling for many, whether that be for ski lodges in the Snowy Mountains, ecotourism facilities on the coast, most pubs in the region or simply individuals wanting to rebuild. The issues are prevalent right across the disaster affected areas of my electorate and they aren't going away. While the government may want to stick their heads in the sand on the issues facing Eden-Monaro locals, I certainly will not.
Over the last few months, I've had the privilege of working with an amazing ANU student in my parliamentary office as part of an intern program, Jennifer Kerr. Jennifer has been working on a report into the state of insurance affordability and availability in the mighty Eden-Monaro following a string of recent natural disasters. Her enthusiasm in doing that, her excitement about the parliamentary process and her desire to make a difference is inspiring. I look forward to sharing the details of her findings in this place when she hands down her report at the end of the month. Thanks for your work, Jen, because you're doing what the government should.