Purdie forces backflip on levy hike

The State Government has backflipped after being called out on a massive 112 per cent hike to an emergency services levy, which was to be picked up via an increase in council rates.

Ninderry MP Dan Purdie said the proposed increase to the Emergency Management Levy would only increase by 20 per cent instead of a proposed 112 per cent hike that homeowners were advised of recently.   

Mr Purdie said he called on Emergency Services Minister Mark Ryan in Parliament last week to support a review of the decision to increase the levy after being contacted by concerned homeowners and businesses in the local area.

Mr Purdie had initially written to the Minister in April after being contacted by dozens of residents and business owners who had received mail notices that the Emergency Management Levy (EML) would increase after the local zone, which covers Coolum and Peregian Springs, was reclassified.

The Emergency Management Levy (EML) is a State Government tax to help cover the cost of providing emergency services and is collected through Council rates. 

Currently, the Coolum and Peregian Springs region is in class D, and was to be reclassified to A following the appointment of five permanent officers at Coolum Fire Station. 

The backflip will see the reclassification downgraded to class C, representing a $21.80 increase in the annual fee.

“This is a great outcome and a win for people power,” Mr Purdie said.

“Of course our community is grateful for the services of our firies, but how this extra service equated to such a massive hike in fees left many locals reeling and struggling to comprehend,” Mr Purdie said.

“I am pleased the Minister has listened to the concerns of locals and downgraded the increase to a much more affordable level.

“This is not the time to target businesses that are driving the economic recovery post COVID, or homeowners who are struggling with the cost of living and to keep a roof over their heads.”

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