Emergency Services Levy

Mr PEDERICK ( Hammond ) ( 15:05 :02 ): My question is to the Treasurer. How much will one of my constituents, who owns a farm near Murray Bridge valued at $1.5 billion, have to pay in emergency services levy this financial year?

The Hon. A. KOUTSANTONIS ( West Torrens—Treasurer, Minister for Finance, Minister for State Development, Minister for Mineral Resources and Energy, Minister for Small Business) (15:05:46): Sir, I'm assuming the constituent of the member for Hammond is not a pensioner?

Members interjecting:

The Hon. A. KOUTSANTONIS: No, not a pensioner.

Mr Pederick: He's a consumer. Tell us the differences.

The Hon. A. KOUTSANTONIS: For a $1.5 million primary production property, the possible increase to the emergency services levy is $420. But, sir, the member for Hammond would be happy to know that the regional factors in place for the emergency services levy remain; that is, if you are in the regional cities and towns—I know the member for Unley is probably on top of all this after having read the report front to back, probably the day after the budget, after they realised it was hidden there in plain sight—it is reduced by a factor of 20 per cent.

If you are in a regional city—that is, towns like Berri, Goolwa, Kadina, Loxton, Millicent, Mount Barker, Mount Gambier, Murray Bridge, Naracoorte, Nuriootpa, Port Augusta, Port Lincoln, Port Pirie, Renmark, Tanunda, Victor Harbor, Whyalla—you get the 20 per cent discount. If you are in a council country area outside the list of major towns, you get a 50 per cent discount on your bill. And, if you are outside all council areas you get a 90 per cent discount on your bill. Those discounts remain in place to recognise the impact that is on regional communities, especially those who are probably unable to access volunteer services, or who have a major dependence upon it, or are volunteers themselves. What we are actually doing with this budget measure is fully funding our emergency services operations.

But, there's good news, Mr Speaker, there's good news. All the member for Hammond has to do for his constituent who is not a pensioner and who owns a $1.5 million rural primary production property, is call his friends in the commonwealth government and tell them to reverse their cuts to health and education and I'll reverse mine.

Members interjecting:

The Hon. A. KOUTSANTONIS: A very simple equation, Mr Speaker. Call Chris Pyne, call Rowan Ramsay, call the senators, call them up and say, 'Reverse your cuts, stand with this Labor government, stand with Campbell Newman, stand with the New South Wales government, stand with Dr Napthine, stand with us, oppose these cuts,' and we'll reverse our increases to the emergency services levy. It's only a phone call away.

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