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.”