State govt confirms $90m ESL bill rebate

Emergency services levy concessions maintained for rural SA


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BUDGET PLEDGE: Treasurer Rob Lucas says the state government will cut ESL bills by $90m in 2019-20, helping relieve cost of living pressures in SA.

BUDGET PLEDGE: Treasurer Rob Lucas says the state government will cut ESL bills by $90m in 2019-20, helping relieve cost of living pressures in SA.

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The state's farmers can expect modest rises in their emergency services levy bills as the state government collects an extra $4.7 million through the ESL for 2019-20.

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The state's farmers can expect modest rises in their emergency services levy bills as the state government collects an extra $4.7 million through the emergency services levy for 2019-20.

But Treasurer Rob Lucas last week said $90m a year in promised concessions for SA households were "locked and loaded" for next month's state budget.

RELATED: Rural SA to save from state govt's ESL promise

He says the government remains committed to $340m in ESL savings across the forward estimates through reinstating rebates removed by the previous Labor government. This led to large levy hikes.

Mr Lucas said $92.8m of the $326m planned emergency services expenditure in 2019-20 would flow to the Country Fire Service, with specific projects to be announced in the budget.

Of the $145.8m expected to be raised by the ESL in 2019-20 through private fixed property collections, $26.6m would be raised by regional areas 1, 2 and 3.

These three zones cover the majority of the rural areas of the state aside from the Adelaide Hills Council, Corporation of the Town of Gawler, City of Onkaparinga and City of Playford.

Mr Lucas says properties located in regional areas of the state will receive discounts on the variable component of their ESL bills (based on land values) of between 20 per cent and 90pc, relative to similar valued properties in the metropolitan area.

In 2019-20 a farm in region 2 valued at $500,000 will be liable for a $101.20 ESL - up $6.35 on 2018-19.

The ESL bill on a $1m rural property will rise $12.75 to $152.45, which Mr Lucas says is still a saving of $87.60 compared with the previous Labor cost structure.

Primary Producers SA chief executive officer Rob Kerin said the rural community had welcomed the significant reductions to the ESL last year.

He hoped the extra money raised this year would see good, ongoing investment in the equipment that the state's many volunteers rely on to "do the job" and keep themselves and others safe.

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