Expert Panel To Guide Emergency Services Levy Reform


A newly formed Stakeholder Reference Group will advise the NSW Government as it reforms the way emergency services are funded.

The group will provide a broad range of expert perspectives on a new model to replace the existing Emergency Services Levy (ESL), which is paid through insurance premiums.

Chaired by Treasurer Daniel Mookhey, the Stakeholder Reference Group is made up of:

  • Andrew Hall – CEO, Insurance Council of Australia
  • Darriea Turley – President, Local Government NSW
  • Katie Stevenson – NSW Executive Director, Property Council of Australia
  • Tim McKibbin – CEO, Real Estate Institute of New South Wales • Angus Nardi – CEO, Shopping Centre Council of Australia
  • Rob Rogers – Commissioner, Rural Fire Service
  • Stacey Tannos – Former Commissioner, Marine Rescue NSW • Leighton Drury – Secretary, Fire Brigade Employees Union
  • Graeme Kelly – General Secretary, United Services Union • Troy Green – General Manager, Tweed Shire Council
  • Daniel Hunter – CEO, Business NSW

The NSW Government is committed to lasting reform that ensures the State can sustainably fund emergency services into the future, while driving down the cost of insurance premiums.

The Stakeholder Reference Group will provide ongoing advice to the NSW Government. Public input will also be sought through the release of a consultation paper later this month.

NSW is the only mainland state to fund its emergency services by taxing insurance and has the highest average insurance premiums in any state apart from cyclone-prone Queensland.

The current model increases the cost of residential insurance by around 18 per cent on average and commercial premiums by around 34 per cent.

It’s also led to NSW having the lowest rate of home and contents insurance in Australia, with 35 per cent of households not having contents insurance and 5 per cent of homeowners not having building insurance.

As fewer people take out insurance policies, the emergency services levy burden increases for those who have cover

Treasurer Daniel Mookhey said:

“I’m pleased to have so many voices at the table to ensure we arrive at a sustainable, lasting and fair way to fund our emergency services into the future.

“The ESL on insurance has led to NSW having one of the highest average insurance costs for businesses and households in the country.

“We need to get the balance right to ensure that NSW can fairly and sustainably fund the State’s emergency services, while bringing down insurance bills.

“I want to thank the emergency services and the Fire Brigade Employees Union for their support in helping the NSW government with this critical reform.”

/Public Release. View in full here.