Victoria Deputy Premier Peter Ryan
Victoria Minister for Police and Emergency Services Peter Ryan
Victoria Treasurer Kim Wells
Coalition Government Announces Timetable For Introduction Of New Fire Services Funding Model
Victor P Taffa
The Coalition Government today announced the consultation and implementation timetable for the introduction of a fairer, more equitable system to fund fire services in Victoria.
Speaking at The Nationals State Conference in Shepparton, Deputy Premier and Leader of The Nationals Peter Ryan said a new property based levy would replace the Fire Services Levy (FSL), which should have been scrapped by the former Government years ago.
Mr. Ryan said the Coalition Government had adopted all Bushfires Royal Commission recommendations including that the FSL be replaced with a property-based levy and to introduce concessions for low-income earners.
“For years, until just prior to the election, Labor refused to listen to the concerns of Victorians calling for the FSL to be abandoned.” Mr. Ryan said.
“The Coalition Government will introduce a new levy that at long last ensures all Victorian property owners pay a fair contribution to our fire services, while ensuring Victoria’s fire services continue to operate equitably and with sufficient resources.”
“Every Victorian understands the need to have well-funded fire fighting services and today’s announcement is an important step in the implementation of this new approach.”
Treasurer Kim Wells said the FSL unfairly slugged home and business owners, particularly in regional Victoria, and encourages people to under insure or not insure at all.
Mr. Wells said the Government would release a position paper in June and engage in a comprehensive public consultation process on the proposed design and implementation of the new levy and transition arrangements.
“The position paper will outline the proposed arrangements for key aspects of the new levy including: its design and structure; eligibility for concessions; and the most effective and efficient method to phase out the insurance based model and implement a property based model.” Mr. Wells said.
“The Government intends to introduce legislation in early 2012 and there will be a transition period that will commence on 1 July 2012 to allow insurers to phase out the FSL prior to full implementation from 1 July 2013.” Mr. Wells said.