Fire services levy rates fall

Residents, farmers and businesses right across the state are benefitting from the Victorian Coalition Government's slashing of Fire Services Levy rates, according to Member for Western Victoria, Simon Ramsay.

Mr Ramsay said that under the Coalition Government's reforms, the average Fire Services Property Levy payable in Ballarat for an average residential property would be around $134, down from $228.

This is $94 less than the average under the old insurance based levy.

In other areas in Western Victoria, the reforms will have the following impacts:

Ararat: $204 (estimated levy 2011- 2012), $121 (2014-2015 levy) - $83 (saving); Central Goldfields: $202, $119 - $83; Golden Plains: $226, $135 - $91; Hepburn: $228, $134 - $94; Melton: $257, $143 - $114; Moorabool: $234, $138 - $96; Pyrenees: $194, $119 - $75; Southern Grampians: $211, $124 - $87.

"Good financial management means that we can reduce the levy rates from July 1 2014, while increasing funding to our fire services," Mr Ramsay said.

Under the rates which apply from July 1 2014, the average business in the CFA area will see their levy reduced by $1,141, and the average farmer will see their levy drop by $323 when compared to the old insurance-based levy.

"Eligible pensioners and veterans will continue to benefit from the $50 concession, easing cost of living pressures in our local community," Mr Ramsay said.

The Black Saturday Bushfires Royal Commission recommended we move away from the unfair, insurance based levy - which charged only those who chose to be insured - and move to a fairer, property based levy.

"The Victorian Coalition Government has abolished the unfair insurance based levy and moved to a fairer way to fund our fire services," Mr Ramsay said.

The 2014-15 budget for the CFA is $457 million, $58 million more than the last Labor Budget. The 2014-15 budget for MFB is $326 million, $39 million more than the last Labor Budget.

"I am pleased that the Coalition Government's strong financial management means that our fire services are better funded than ever before, while the cost for average households is falling."


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