The Property Council of Australia welcomes the Premier’s announcement today that the Government will defer the introduction of the Fire and Emergency Services Levy (FESL).
“The Property Council has had serious concerns about the FESL model with some commercial, inner city and industrial property owners reporting bill rises of nearly 600 per cent,” Property Council of Australia NSW Deputy Executive Director Cheryl Thomas said today.
“The model lacked nuance and would have had a serious impact on the cost of property and doing business in NSW.
“We welcome the courage of the Government to admit the model isn’t right and to look for alternatives that will both fund our essential services yet are fair on property and the community.
“Fire and Emergency Services are essential services that cost about one billion dollars a year to fund and should be funded through consolidated revenue. This would cost the government about 730 million dollars more a year under the current model.
“With a four-billion-dollar surplus in the bank and record stamp duty revenue, this is an option that is both financially viable and fair. It is a public good, let’s fund it through the public purse.
“Other essential services in NSW such as police and health services are funded through consolidated revenue. There is no reason to deviate from this source of funding for Fire and Emergency Services.
“We would welcome the chance to work with the Government on a new approach to funding Fire and Emergency Services through this approach.