Rural SA landholders can expect a modest rise in the Emergency Services Levy for 2020-2021 due to increased expenditure in the devastating bushfire season this summer.
But, Treasurer Rob Lucas says it is continuing to honour its election promise to save South Australians $90 million a year compared to the previous Labor government.
Mr Lucas said $4.3 million of the additional $11m estimated to be collected in 2020-21 would go towards purchasing new appliances for MFS and CFS firefighters ($3m) and retrofitting vehicles with fire protection safety systems ($1.3m).
"Summer's devastating bushfires reminded us all of the heroic efforts of our emergency services in keeping our community safe, and we're pleased these vital services will receive significant funding to support their ongoing, lifesaving work," he said.
According to the Treasurer's office a primary production property valued at $500,000 in regional area 2 (which includes Lucindale and Pinnaroo) will be liable for an ESL bill of $105.25, up from $96.65 in 2019-2020, based on average capital growth.
An $800,000 property in the same regional area would pay $138.40, an increase of $13.80.
It also stated that of the $157.1m expected to be raised by the ESL in 2020-21 through private fixed property collections, $28.8m will be raised by regional areas 1, 2 and 3 (non-metropolitan areas).
Expenditure on emergency services attributable to the fixed property component of the levy in these non-metropolitan areas amounts to $92.5 million.
Primary Producers SA chairman Rob Kerin welcomed the additional spending on equipment and truck upgrades , which it had called for in its submission to the recent SA Bushfire Inquiry.
"Any increase does increase the cost of doing business for farmers but in this case it (the ESL) is so much less than we were paying a couple of years ago under Labor, and we do need to improve our firefighting capacity so we do understand the reason for the lift," he said.
"The devil is always in the detail so we won't really know until everyone receives their bills but as long as the rise is no more than in the metropolitan area, 5 per cent, it is acceptable.
"Anything being done to improve the safety of CFS volunteers is always positive."
- Start the day with all the big news in agriculture. Click here to sign up to receive our daily Stock Journal newsletter.