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Council calls for State investment in Emergency Services

Publish Date 30/05/2019

Port Stephens Council has expressed concern with the NSW State Government’s implementation of an increased emergency services levy from July 2019.

Speaking to a Mayoral Minute at last night’s Council meeting, Mayor Ryan Palmer said while Council strongly supports the levy to provide better workers compensation for firefighters, there is concern for the lack of notice given prior to the levy’s implementation in July 2019:

“This Council recognises the need for this levy to support some of our community’s most valuable resources – our firefighters. It’s vitally important that they have access to adequate compensation should they need it.

“Council’s concern lies with the NSW State Government’s lack of notice in implementing this levy increase and cost shifting this back to the Local Government sector. Council was only notified of its implementation in May this year, despite laws being passed in November 2018.

“The reality is that we will need to fund the additional $125,000 this increased levy represents, and that means our local community will miss out.

“We will now write to the NSW Premier and NSW Interim Opposition Leader, along with their relevant Ministers and Shadow Ministers to call for this levy to be State funded for the first 12 months. We will also call for the NSW State Government to work together with the Local Government sector to redesign the implementation of the scheme to ensure financial fairness,” Mayor Palmer said.