South Australian households will continue to pocket significant savings under the Marshall Government’s massive ongoing Emergency Services Levy relief – with an average household set to save more than 50 per cent or $184.20 in 2021-22, compared with the policy under the former Labor government.
The government has decided to limit the ESL increase on the average household to just 2 per cent ($2.80).
In fact, the Marshall Government has boosted its significant ESL relief in 2021-22 to $95.4 million, including an increased level of general remissions through:
- a contribution of $3.6 million for the planned increase in hazard reduction and prescribed burns by the Department for Environment and Water as announced in the Government’s response to the Independent Review into the 2019-20 Bushfire Season, and
- a further $1.8 million in one-off assistance from the Business and Jobs support Fund, to limit the increases otherwise required recognising the impact COVID-19 has had on businesses.
Treasurer Rob Lucas said the Government had locked-in more than $360 million in ESL savings over four years – ending years of huge bill hikes under the former Labor government.
“Under Labor, long-suffering households and families were hit with massive ESL bills which have now been significantly slashed under our Government’s lower-cost policies,” said Mr Lucas.
“Households with a property valued at the median price of $518,000 in the metropolitan area will receive a $184.20 saving on their ESL bill in 2021-22, compared with what they would have paid under Labor.
“There will be a small $2.80 increase (2.0 per cent) on their average bill compared with last year (based on the same property increasing in value by the average 3.8 per cent) – from $140.20 to $143.00 – due to increased expenditure on our vital emergency services.”
Therefore, notwithstanding the Valuer-General advising that residential property values in metropolitan Adelaide had increased by an average 3.8 per cent over the calendar year 2020 for the purpose of ESL rate setting, the actual ESL payable for a median value property which experienced this average valuation increase over the year has been limited to 2.0 per cent.
And for the first time since 2001-02, the Government has reduced the effective (after remission) ESL rates for concession holders. A concession household with a median value property in metropolitan Adelaide will experience only a $1.15 (or 2.1 per cent) increase in their bill in 2021-22.
Mr Lucas said the ESL funded critical emergency services in SA and included $3.3 million in additional funding including:
- $1.5 million to support the operation of the new Automatic Vehicle Location system for real-time tracking of fire and rescue vehicles to improve first responder and community safety
- $1 million for a new pathways program to improve recruitment and retention of SES volunteers who respond to extreme weather events; and
- Funding to develop plans for a new combined incident management facility, CFS regional headquarters and SES unit at Willaston
“Last summer’s devastating bushfires underscored the heroic efforts of our emergency services in keeping our community safe, and we’re pleased these vital services continue to receive significant funding, which was boosted last year, to support their ongoing, lifesaving work,” said Mr Lucas.
Total expenditure on emergency services is projected to be $353.4 million in 2021-22, up from an estimated $341.5 million in 2020-21.
The Parliament’s Economic and Finance Committee will today be provided a report in accordance with the Emergency Services Funding Act 1998 which outlines the determinations in respect of the amount that needs to be raised by means of the levy on land to fund emergency services and proposed ESL rate settings in 2021-22.
In 2021-22, an industrial property valued at $750,000 in the metropolitan area will pay an additional $72.95 next year but will save $153.85 on its $1,717.50 ESL bill compared to what they would have paid under Labor.
A commercial property valued at $750,000 in metropolitan Adelaide will pay an additional $47.60 next year.
Primary Producers in regional areas, such as Bordertown, with a property value of $750,000 will pay an additional $5 next year but will save $72.55 compared to what they would have paid under Labor.