All property owners to pay Emergency Management Fire and Rescue Levy

Burdekin Shire property owners will next month receive notice of the new Queensland Emergency Management, Fire and Rescue Levy (EMFRL).

Burdekin Mayor Bill Lowis said the Council had a legal obligation under the Fire and Rescue Service Act 1990 to collect the levy on behalf of the Queensland Government.

“Similar to the introduction of the Urban Fire Levy some years ago, this is a State Government charge and Council is required to collect it and forward the money to them,” he said.

“From January 1 this year, the State Government increased and broadened the coverage of the Urban Fire Levy to ensure there was a sustainable funding base for emergency services. The notices will be mailed out on Friday, February 14.

“The new EMFRL will be applied to all prescribed properties within Queensland under the Fire and Rescue Service Act 1990, not just those in urban areas, and has been extended to include emergency management.

“This change recognises that all Queenslanders are at risk from a wide range of emergencies including floods, cyclones, storms as well as fire and accidents.

“Funding collected by the levy will ensure Emergency Management Queensland, which operates the State Emergency Service, emergency helicopter, disaster management and supports volunteer marine rescue services, will have enough funds to continue to deliver these services as and when they are needed.”

Cr Lowis said a new “E” Class levy would apply to properties not included in the former Urban Fire Levy area.

“Unlike Council rates where land parcels may be amalgamated for rating purposes, the EMFRL applies to each parcel of land or lot,” he said.

“However, adjoining lots that are under one ownership and are used as bona-fide primary producing land (under Chapter 2, Part 2 [s 48] of the Land Valuation Act 2010) will be treated as a single levy.

“The new ‘E’ Class levy does not change the funding for Rural Fire Services and Council will continue to collect Rural Fire Brigade Special Charges for Alva Beach, Clare, Mount Kelly and Scott.”

A full list of levy amounts applying to commercial and other properties is contained in the Fire and Rescue Service Regulation 2011.

Applicable Pensioners whose property is their principal place of residence and qualify under the State Government Pensioner Subsidy Scheme are eligible for 20 per cent discount on the EMFRL.

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