Emergency Services South Gippsland Small business

Fire service levy hike a broken Labor promise

South Gippsland households and businesses face a big hike in their fire services property levy (FSPL) as rates notices arrive in their mailboxes due to a broken pre-election promise from the Melbourne Labor Government.

The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Danny O’Brien said despite Daniel Andrews promising he would hold all tax increases to CPI, currently around one per cent, Melbourne Labor is now gouging an additional $42.1 million from Victorian property owners in this financial year – an increase of 7.2 per cent.

Mr O’Brien said this was another slap in the face for people living in regional shires like South Gippsland.

“The residential rate per $1000 of capital improved value for properties in the CFA zone has risen 32 per cent, while commercial, industrial and primary producer rates have all increased by 12 per cent,” Mr O’Brien said.

“Ratepayers in South Gippsland and Wellington Shires will be feeling this pain as they pay their rates over the next few months.

“This is another broken promise from Melbourne Labor that will hurt home and business owners in my electorate and place further strain on household budgets.”

Mr O’Brien said every category of property owner faced higher FSPL rates under Labor.

“This means that all property owners – including residents, commercial businesses and farmers will face a fire services tax slug,” Mr O’Brien said.

“In one breath we have Melbourne Labor calling on local councils to cap rates at CPI and then in another they raise the FSPL by 7.2 per cent,” Mr O’Brien said.

Mr O’Brien said under the former Coalition Government, the FSPL had been increased at rates below CPI, while budget increases had been delivered to both the Country Fire Authority and Metropolitan Fire Brigade.

“Daniel Andrews has hit every Victorian property with another tax hike through the fire services levy just to pay for the excessive demands of his union mates. The promised additional firefighters will not be deployed in Wellington or South Gippsland Shires because we are serviced entirely by volunteers meaning we are copping an additional tax slug to pay for Melbourne. That’s simply not fair.”

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