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Government Must Respond to ESL Review

For more information, contact Colin de Grussa (Member for the Agricultural Region).

Nationals WA Emergency Services spokesperson Colin de Grussa MLC is calling for a
State Government response to the Economic Regulation Authority’s recent review of the
Emergency Service Levy.


The review made 27 recommendations including tasking an independent organisation to
advise Government on management of the ESL and how it might fund a Rural Fire
Service.

Mr de Grussa said the ERA’s body of work included lengthy consultation with the sector
and warranted a swift Government response.


“The Government indicated it would wait until this report was delivered before
announcing its decision on a Rural Fire Service,” he said.


“Minister Logan needs to explain his plan for improving transparency and accountability
of ESL management and a Rural Fire Service model.”


Mr de Grussa said West Australians had a right to know how their levy contributions
support prevention, preparedness and response to emergencies.


The ESL is charged to all property owners in WA based on Gross Rental Value. The
ERA review recommended the Levy be used to fund emergency management activities
provided by a Rural Fire Service, should it be created.


However, in response to questioning today in Parliament, Emergency Services Minister
Fran Logan revealed the Government was no closer to delivering a Rural Fire Service.
“The State Government’s commitment to gold standard transparency has fallen off the
chart, in keeping with its empty promises to reform the emergency services sector,” Mr
de Grussa said.


“Six months into their term, we’re yet to hear how Government proposes to set up a
Rural Fire Service or implement other recommendations from the Report of the Special
Inquiry into the January 2016 Waroona Fire.”


“The only decision this State Government has made impacting the emergency services
sector is to halve the value of Volunteer Fuel Cards.”


Mr de Grussa said responding to the ERA report would provide some level of certainty
to ratepayers and the sector about how Government was meeting expectations of
reform and transparency.

For media enquiries please contact Colin de Grussa on 9071 6555 or email
colin.degrussa@mp.wa.gov.au.