Protecting Queenslanders’ personal, private information and stamping out unsolicited scam calls is at the heart of legislation passed by Queensland Parliament today.
Deputy Premier and Treasurer Jackie Trad said the passage through Parliament of the Motor Accident Insurance and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2019 was about stopping unrelenting, uninvited and harassing phone calls relating to car crashes.
Ms Trad said claim farming, as it is known in the insurance industry, was causing significant stress with some people receiving five to 10 calls a week and even two or three times a day.
“Research collected by the Motor Accident Insurance Commission, which regulates compulsory third-party insurance (CTP) in Queensland, revealed that over 1.5 million Queenslanders have been targeted by claim farmers,” said Ms Trad.
“That is simply unacceptable. Queenslanders have had enough – these unsolicited calls have to stop.
“I know from personal experience these callers – often from overseas or interstate call centres – use nefarious tactics and misleading information to solicit or induce someone to divulge personal details which are then on-sold for profit.”
Ms Trad said the legislation is about protecting the integrity of Queensland’s CTP insurance scheme, which is widely known as one of the most stable and affordable in the country.
“It is imperative that we ensure the scheme continues to support those who are tragically injured in motor vehicle accidents while at the same time providing affordable coverage to drivers,” she said.
“It is equally important that these laws do not stop meritorious compensation claims or prevent an injured person from being informed of their legal rights. The changes do not impede access to legal representation, nor prevent law practices from promoting their services, donating funds to worthy causes or provide obligation-free services to community groups with which they have a long-standing association.
“In short it is about striking a fair and considered balance between the interests of the Queensland public, claimants, potential claimants and the legal profession.”
Included in the new laws are claim farming offences with a maximum penalty of around $40,000 for an individual and $200,000 for a corporation. There are also provisions to expand the Motor Accident Insurance Commission’s functions and bolster its enforcement and special investigation powers.
Deputy Premier, Treasurer and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships
The Honourable Jackie Trad