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LEVY RIP OFF

LEVY RIP OFF

Member for Schubert, Mr Stephan Knoll has labelled the State Government’s Emergency Services Levy increases as excessive and yet another cruel hit to the region.

It is a double blow for those with a significant rise in property value which contributes to a higher ESL calculation. Mr Knoll has already received a report from a local farmer with an ESL increase of nearly 400 per cent and is expecting more to follow.

“In 2014-15 rural South Australians will pay $22.9 million towards the levy, however, Emergency Services in the area will receive $9.4 million in direct funding. This means we are paying $13.5 million more than we receive in services,” said Mr Knoll.

He said farmers already use their own water and lose production time while they are helping their friends and neighbours battle a fire – January’s Eden Valley fire was a perfect example.

“It is a slap in the face to farmers to take more money out of their pocket, especially when the vast majority of CFS emergencies happen in the country. Country people are much more likely to volunteer and farmers have their own farm fire units. Not only are they contributing more, they are not getting a return in extra services. It’s about as cruel as it can get,” said Mr Knoll.

“I do feel for people on the land who are trying so hard to have profitable farming enterprises and have a government come in and take more money out of their
pockets and use it in metropolitan Adelaide.”