Build to Last: Protecting the North

Build to Last: Protecting the North initiative
by the James Cook University Cyclone Testing Station, Suncorp and Green Cross

Cyclones are a fact of life for residents of north Queensland and Suncorp has been helping the community manage for almost a century. On average, we know that cyclones will cost $632 million per year, and that this can only increase into the future.

We must do a better job of protecting the community from this hazard. The risk to people’s homes, their mental health and the local economy is too high. We have an opportunity to take the adversity of Cyclones Larry, Yasi and Marcia and turn it into strength. North Queensland can and should become the world leader in cyclone resilience.

This is why Suncorp has partnered with the Cyclone Testing Station (CTS) at James Cook University (JCU) and Urbis to analyse insurance claim data to better understand cyclone vulnerabilities in homes, and what we can do to address them.

The research shows that simple, low-cost mitigation can pay for itself after just one cyclone. 

Our Protecting the North initiative seeks to address these risks and cut the cost of insurance for those at high risk. We see this research as a first step toward a wider program of activity that will build a safer community and a more sustainable future for the North.

A resilient community is one that enjoys physical safety, mental wellbeing, the freedom to start a business and the confidence to buy a home. Reducing devastation brought by cyclones will support economic growth, create jobs and stimulate a market that rewards innovation in risk management.

A concerted effort to reduce disaster risk will also create a resilience market, drive innovation and reduce costs. This not only reduces the cost of mitigation in North Queensland, but could also position Australia as a world leader in cyclone resilience.

It’s time for industry, government and the community to work together to Protect the North.

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