NSW Emergency Services Levy reform deferred

The NSW Government has deferred reform of its Emergency Services Levy for at least two years.

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Although the deferment has not been formally announced, Police and Emergency Services Minister Michael Gallacher told delegates at a Rural Fire Service Association conference of the decision.

The Land newspaper quoted Mr Gallacher as saying: “We haven’t walked away from our position that we do want to see a more equitable spread of responsibility in providing money, that we as a government would then pass on to (the Rural Fire Service) and the other emergency providers in this State.”

Last July, Treasurer Mike Baird and Mr Gallacher announced a review of the levy and called for public submissions. NIBA made a submission strongly supporting reform.

Hopes were high of significant reform in this area, with Mr Baird stating the levy was “one of the most inefficient taxes in the state” ahead of announcing the review last year.

It is understood the recent negative publicity surrounding the introduction of similar reforms in Victoria may have influenced the decision to defer the reform.