Push for property levy to fund emergency services

AS STATE Government agencies debrief on the bushfire threat, there's growing support for a broad-based property levy to be introduced in NSW to fund the emergency services.

Introduced on all property owners in the state, it would replace the current emergency services levy, which is funded by insurance premiums, councils and the NSW Government.

The proposal raised by Police and Emergency Minister Mike Gallacher comes as Victoria implements a broad-based property levy.

The Local Government and Shires Associations yesterday gave support to the suggestion, while publicly commending emergency workers on the recent efforts on the fire front.

"With a large number of fires still blazing throughout the state, it's times like these that we truly appreciate the value of the RFS, Fire and Rescue NSW, police and the State Emergency Service," said Coffs Harbour councillor and LGA NSW president Keith Rhoades.

Shires Association president Ray Donald said the local government body had called for a broad-based levy for more than a decade.

"Replacing the emergency services levy with a broad base property levy would mean that everyone contributes to this vital community service whilst improving the transparency of the funding system," Cr Donald said.


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