As part of the bank sale commitments made with the Queensland Government, Suncorp has announced a $25 million jobs and investment package, which involves the establishment of a disaster response center in Brisbane.
The fulfillment of these commitments is contingent upon obtaining approvals from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and the Federal Treasurer for the bank’s sale to ANZ. Furthermore, amendments to Queensland legislation would be made to ensure that state headquarter requirements are applicable to Suncorp’s retained insurance business.
Chairman Christine McLoughlin affirmed that if the proposed amendment receives approval, it will reinforce Suncorp’s deep connection with the Queensland community, emphasizing the company’s commitment to prioritize investment and job creation in the region.
As part of the package, Suncorp plans to allocate a minimum of $19 million to establish a state-of-the-art Disaster Response Centre of Excellence at its Brisbane headquarters. This center will utilize advanced technology to enhance responses to major events across Australia and New Zealand, focusing on improving preparedness, response during the event, and recovery efforts afterwards.
In addition, the company intends to augment its Queensland disaster response team by creating 20 full-time positions dedicated to weather monitoring, climate change, geospatial technology, artificial intelligence, digital transportation, and supporting functions. The allocated funds will also cover the expenses for the design and outfitting of a mobile hub.
A minimum of $2 million will be earmarked for establishing a Suncorp regional hub in Townsville, which is expected to generate 120 new job opportunities.
Additionally, the company has committed $3 million towards community and educational initiatives, including vocational training, supporting First Nations employment pathways, and funding research, courses, internships, and scholarships focused on disaster resilience and emergency management.
Suncorp CEO Steve Johnston views the pending agreement as a favorable stride towards transforming the company into a specialized trans-Tasman insurer. He highlights the significance of having robust and sustainable insurance coverage during a time when its value and necessity have never been higher.
Mr. Johnston stated that Suncorp’s capacity to cater to the evolving requirements of insurance customers, tackle intricate issues like climate change and affordability, and actively champion a more resilient Australia will be greatly enhanced by concentrating investments as a pure play insurance company.
In addition to bolstering employment prospects in Queensland, a significant portion of the commitments is focused on enhancing community resilience to extreme weather events, according to Mr. Johnston.
Suncorp and ANZ anticipate the completion of the bank sale in the second half of the current calendar year, pending the necessary approvals. The ACCC is expected to reach a decision by July 28th.
ANZ has announced its own commitments in an agreement with the Queensland Government. These commitments encompass the establishment of a significant tech hub in Brisbane, focused on digital, cloud, and data expertise.
Over a span of five years, the bank plans to hire or allocate 700 individuals to the hub. Collaborations with Google are planned to provide cloud training for hub staff, while partnerships with Queensland universities aim to promote research and training initiatives.
State Treasurer Cameron Dick expressed, “The commitments obtained from both Suncorp and ANZ guarantee the continued growth of skilled job opportunities in Queensland’s financial services sector, not only in the south-east but also in regional areas.”
Source : insurancenews.com.au