UNIONS and the State opposition have slammed a proposal by the O’Farrell Government to slug households $300 a year to fund Fire and Rescue NSW.
Currently Fire and Rescue NSW is 75% funded by the insurance industry.
But the Government discussion paper Funding our Emergency Services contains a proposal to let the insurance industry off the hook and instead tax households $300 a year.
Fire Brigade Employees Union country sub-branch secretary Tim Anderson said the tax comes at the same time the O’Farrell Government is endangering community safety by announcing temporary fire station closures.
“The insurance industry not only funds Fire and Rescue NSW, but it also funds the Rural Fire Service and the SES as well, so this is going to have much broader implications than just on Fire and Rescue NSW,” he said.
Opposition Leader John Robertson slammed the proposed new tax, saying Barry O’Farrell is hurting families to appease his mates in the insurance industry.
A spokesperson for Police and Emergency Services Minister Michael Gallacher said as the funding for Fire and Rescue was under review it would be inappropriate to comment until the review is finished.