15 November 2006

ANU finally settles Stromlo insurance claims

| johnboy
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The ABC reports that ANU has finally settled its differences with its insurers.

The issue arose after the Mount Stromlo Observatory burnt down in the 2003 fires.

They’ve reached some sort of settlement and now ANU is turning it’s attentions to the insurance broker AON which appears to have sold the ANU a bung policy.

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Fire protection is not impossible. It requires planning and effort. With an adequate water supply – roof top sprinklers for cooling. a 30 mtre buffer zones and some decent design most damage can be minimised if not avoided.

In 2003 the Youth Sport and Rec camp Howmans Gap at Falls creek came under sustained fire attack. A pre planned defence strategy by the manager, a buffer zone, large diesel water pump on site, a bit of luck and some work by the CFA ensured its survival.

Evidently you have not been on a rural tanker.
Providing you have water and can place the unit in the right place to reduce the amount of heat you are OK. I am not sure of the benefits of CAFS used by the ACT and believe it is overrated for protection.

Government property is no different to private property and it is the responsibility of the owner or manager to ensure all OH&S including protection from Bushfires. Do not rely on the RFS to save your house or business as they will not have the resouces to help everybody.

Hmmm…I’d be interested to see a fire protection system capable of saving Stromlo from fires like those a coupla years back.

There is also a duty of care thing. If you have valuable paintings then you do not leave then in a timber building with no security. The ANU were perhaps possibly negligent in not having sufficient fire protection for a 100 million dollar asset.
Expecting an insurance payout after leaving the front door open resulting in theft is not a good idea.
Last month Victoria lost a $100 million+ dollar dredger at the Moe open cut. I wonder how the insurance for that is progressing?

Pandy: I agree with you (except for perhaps the “Frack ANU” bit). Question is, if you pay a broker to make sure you’re not underinsured, shouldn’t they fix it when you’re not? That’s my understanding of what’s happened here (although no doubt it’s vastly more complex in its details).

I have to say I’ve had dealings with AON (on a massively smaller scale) and always been pleased with the results.

Frack ANU. If I underinsure I pay the consequences. So should ANU.

It’ll be interesting to see if the Uni got anything close to what they reckon Mt Stromlo was worth; because if not they’ll be in deep shit!

Well, it’s a start – at least they’ll have a few bob now to get some more rebuilding done. Here’s hoping they can take the (seemingly dodgy) brokers to the cleaners and get the rest.
(Seems to me that if you were going to try to screw around any organisation, you could pick a better one than a university with a well regarded law faculty…).

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