A Fairer, Simpler Fire Services Property Levy To Keep Us Safe

The Fire Services Property Levy rate will be reduced on residential properties across the state as part of an overhaul that will make the charge simpler and more consistent – and reflect the establishment of Fire Rescue Victoria.

The Victorian Government has delivered on its promise to freeze the Fire Services Property Levy (FSPL) collection levels, to assist businesses and families to get through to the other side of the coronavirus pandemic.

Earlier this month, the Government announced the levy will be frozen at this year’s collection level for next financial year as a measure designed to support Victorians affected by the crisis.

Today, the Government also announced it will create a consistent, state-wide FSPL – recognising that fires touch all Victorians, and that we will all benefit from modernised, reformed and well-resourced fire services.

Under the new streamlined system, property owners will no longer pay higher contributions depending on the location of their property.

From July, all residential properties in Victoria will see a fall in their FSPL rate, while all other properties – such as industrial or commercial properties – in the old CFA district will either see no increase, or a decrease in their rate. The fixed levy will be indexed in accordance with the legislation.

The FSPL equips our fire services with the tools and resources necessary to keep Victorians safe from fire.

The new consistent state-wide levy will mean the vast majority of regional Victorian property owners will pay less.

The total FSPL levy charge will remain around $150 for a typical metropolitan residence, while a family home in regional Victoria will see a small fall in the FSPL, from around $141 to $137.

Non-residential properties in the old MFB area will see a modest increase in the levy — with an extra $1 per week for a typical small business, through to around an extra $15.50 per week for a $10 million commercial property.

The changes recognise the establishment of Fire Rescue Victoria and the changing nature of population growth across Victoria. Fire Rescue Victoria will abolish metropolitan and regional fire district boundaries.

We have been through an unprecedented and very challenging fire season. This year’s devastating bushfires tragically killed five people, burnt more than 1.5 million hectares and destroyed more than 1,000 buildings.

Fire Rescue Victoria will commence on July 1, bringing together all MFB and CFA career firefighters with MFB staff and some CFA staff to create a modern organisation that will serve Melbourne and major regional centres.

At the same time the CFA is being strengthened as a truly community-based, volunteer firefighting organisation that continues to serve local communities and provide vital surge capacity to the state during major emergencies.

Quote attributable to Treasurer Tim Pallas

“Whether you live on a rural property or a city apartment, fire is a deadly and dangerous threat. We’re making sure the men and women who keep us safe have the resources they need to do what they do best.”

Quote attributable to Minister for Police and Emergency Services Lisa Neville

“Our career and volunteer firefighters are the best in the world and our reforms are providing a more modern career firefighting organisation alongside a strengthened, community-based volunteer organisation.”