Monday, 4 May 2020
NORTHERN Tablelands MP Adam Marshall has today announced $1,065,982 will be directed into frontline COVID-19 response efforts across seven local government areas in the region, thanks to the State Government fully funding the council’s increase in the emergency services levy (ESL) for 2020-21.
Mr Marshall said the announcement would aid council’s immediate response to COVID-19, while also easing financial pressure during the next financial year.
“Our emergency services have long been funded through a cost sharing arrangement between insurers, councils and the Government,” Mr Marshall said.
“While we all acknowledge the importance of supporting our emergency services workers, local councils simply cannot afford this financial impost in the wake of COVID-19, bushfires and drought.
“This extra funding will go a long way towards supporting the day-to-day operating costs of Armidale Regional, Glen Innes Severn, Gwydir, Inverell Council, Moree Plains, Tenterfield and Uralla Shire Councils.
“Many of our local councils are juggling supporting businesses and residents doing it tough by providing rate relief, while at the same time continuing to deliver core services like rubbish and water with less income.
“This funding injection will hopefully ease that pressure, helping them to redirect funds to critical core services while still delivering financial support for the local community.
“Our councils have been forced to deal with disaster upon disaster during the past 12 months and I will continue to work with them to ensure to have the support needed to get back on their feet once the pandemic has passed.”
Revenue NSW will shortly issue councils with their ESL assessment notices for 2020-21, as required by legislation. The NSW Office of Local Government will pay a grant to each council equivalent to the increase in their ESL contribution for 2020-21.
In 2019-20 the NSW Government provided $13.6 million to fund the ESL increase for local councils to pay for new workers’ compensation arrangements for firefighters with cancer.
The COVID-19 local government economic stimulus package includes a $112.5 million Council Job Retention Allowance to minimise job losses in the local government sector and a $250 million boost to low-interest infrastructure loans for local councils to help drive jobs and investment.
Council ESL funding boost
Armidale Regional Council $305,657
Glen Innes Severn Council $148,087
Gwydir Shire Council $158,148
Inverell Shire Council $136,917
Moree Plains Shire Council $169,099
Tenterfield Shire Council $143,443
Uralla Shire Council $4,740