Eyre Peninsula captain looks forward to remission

A local CFS captain is welcoming news of the reintroduction of the remission on the Emergency Services Levy, which the state government says will bring savings of $90 million per year.

The Economic and Finance Committee has written a report looking at the levy for 2018/19.

The report said bringing the remission back would result in a return of $90 million per year to South Australian homes and businesses.

Speaking on the report in parliament on August 2, Member for Flinders Peter Treloar said the government would fulfill its election commitment to bring back the remission, which was removed in 2014.

“It significantly impacted homes, businesses, community organisations and farms, and it was the farmers in my area who particularly felt aggrieved by the previous government’s removal of this remission,” he said.

“Many of these landowners and farmers are active CFS and SES volunteers, it felt very much like there was some double-dipping going on.

“ESL payments increased often and by three figures in percentage terms, I heard reports of between 200 and 800 per cent.”

Dale Howell is brigade captain of the Kapinnie CFS, one of several brigades on Eyre Peninsula which has been refusing to fight fires on government land in protest of recent levy increases. 

Mr Howell said it would be a good step forward and he appreciated Mr Treloar’s efforts to get their voices heard.

“It will be interesting to see how much is given back,” he said.

“I think Peter has put our case forward well...we’re happy we’re being recognised.”

The report also says 2018/19 expenditure on emergency services is projected to be $318.4 million, excluding the cost of election commitments which increase expenditure.

Mr Treloar said he commended the work of the committee in putting together the report and congratulated the Liberal Government for keeping their election commitment to bring back the remission.