Reform on the way for Emergency Services Levy
The NSW Greens support the Government’s move to reform the Emergency Services Levy (ESL).
Taxes on insurance premiums and council rates make up a massive 85 percent of funding for emergency services, while the remaining 15 percent is contributed by the Government. For too long, the ESL has disproportionately affected people living in disaster-impacted areas, predominantly in regional and rural NSW. The Government has been effectively triple dipping into the pockets of those residents. They’ve had to pay local government rates and massive insurance premiums, all while continuing the clean up of their properties and towns. Many of them simultaneously serve as front-line emergency service volunteers.
Communities expect that the cost of emergency services should be shouldered by the NSW Government, not by already-overburdened residents around the state because of where they live, nor by local councils.
It’s encouraging to know the Government also sees this funding model as unfair and inefficient. The NSW Greens will be holding NSW Labor to account on properly engaging with the community to develop an emergency services funding model that is sustainable and equitable.