Emergency levy on hold
An emergency services levy that was scheduled to be implemented from July 1 has been postponed.
The NSW Government has decided to delay the introduction of the Fire and Emergency Services Levy (FESL) ‘‘to ensure small to medium businesses do not face an unreasonable burden’’.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said while in the majority of cases fully insured people would be better off under the new system, it had become clear that some fully insured businesses were facing unintended negative consequences.
‘‘We are a government that listens, and we have heard the concerns from the community, and we will take the time to get this right,’’ Ms Berejiklian said.
‘‘While the new system produces fairer outcomes in the majority of cases, some people — particularly in the commercial and industrial sectors — are worse off by too much under the current model, and that is not what we intended.’’
The levy was designed as a fairer way to cover the costs of emergency services across the state, which is currently funded through those with insurance premiums.
It was to be collected in the local area by Murrumbidgee and Berrigan Shire councils respectively, as an additional charge on rates notices.
The NSW Government has said it will work with local government, fire and emergency services, the insurance industry and other stakeholders to find a better and fairer path forward.
The Fire and Emergency Services Levy will continue to be collected via insurance policies until the issues are resolved.
Further information can be found at www.fesl.nsw.gov.au.