State Government decision costly to Council

MidCoast Council

MidCoast Council will be almost a million dollars out of pocket due to a decision handed down by the State Government recently.

The decision made to remove the subsidy for the Emergency Services Levy means Council will have to fork out an additional $924,167 for the 2023/24 financial year which will bring the total contribution up to $2,783,895.

MidCoast Council Mayor, Claire Pontin has written to a number of State Government Ministers urging the State Government to rethink the decision.

“For the last four years, the NSW Government has acknowledged the ESL is an unsustainable burden on Local Governments by providing subsidies to local governments for the annual increases in the levy,” she said.

“We are concerned that the subsidies have stopped and that the decision was announced so late in the Local Government budgeting cycle. Local Councils should not have to cover these State Government costs.”

This shifting of costs from the State Government to Local Governments is not new. Last year the State Government again insisted that Rural Firefighting Service assets (the Red Fleet) are the “property” of councils and must be recorded in their financial statements.

This means Councils are forced to cover the depreciation costs of the Rural Fire Service assets.

“Council re-affirms its complete support for the RFS through its local brigades and the critical work they do.” Mayor Pontin said.

“But the continual shifting of costs from the State Government to Local Government where they have to be paid for by local communities and their ratepayers has to stop.”

/Public Release. View in full here.