NSW firefighters launch new ad campaign | @FBEU @NSWFBEU #NSWpol

NSW firefighters launch new ad campaign

Households across NSW will be targeted in a new fire brigade union advertising campaign, as it steps up its fight against changes to emergency services funding.

The Fire Brigade Employees' Union (FBEU) began rolling out newspaper, radio and direct mail advertising on Monday, against what they describe as “O'Farrell's new fire tax”.

Currently, almost 74 per cent of funding for Fire and Rescue NSW, the NSW Rural Fire Service and the NSW State Emergency Service (SES) is through a levy imposed on insurance companies.

The rest is covered by state and local governments.

In a white paper released in July, the government proposed instead to scrap the insurance levy in favour of an annual property-based tax of up to $267 for land valued at $250,000.

This, they say, would remove one of the main objections to the current system, which sees funding provided by people who insure their properties, while people who do not insure theirs enjoy the same benefits.

But the Fire Brigade Employees' Union (FBEU) state secretary Jim Casey said the move was a “handout to the big end of town at the expense of families”.

“Removing this levy has been on the wish list of the insurance industry for decades,” Mr Casey said in a statement.

“If the community allows the government to get away with a big new fire tax, we'll then see a big new police tax and a big new ambulance tax.”

In a bid to get NSW residents to have their say on the proposal before the public consultation on the paper closes on October 8, the FBEU has issued a letter to households saying: “Bet you weren't expecting to be whacked with a $300 new tax when you woke up this morning. But that is precisely what is going to happen if Barry O'Farrell gets his way.”


About Darin Sullivan (1980 Articles)
Former President of the Fire Brigade Employees’ Union (2009-2018) and a professional firefighter with more than 30 years experience. I live and work on the NSW South Coast, Australia. I am a strong advocate for firefighters and emergency service workers with an interest in mental health issues and caring for those around me. I am a former Director on the NSW Fire Brigades Death and Disability Super Fund and work with charities including ‘The Movember Foundation’. As a leader and activist I have long been active in the campaign for action on climate change. I am a Station Commander in the fire and rescue service in NSW and have 30 years experience fighting fires, both rural and urban. I am passionate about highlighting the impact climate change is having on fire preparedness and fire behaviour in Australia, and the risks associated with inaction on climate change. I am also a spokesperson for the Australian Climate Media Centre.
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