THE Victorian government will reduce the Fire Services Property Levy (FSPL) rate on residential properties and roll out a new system where owners will no longer pay higher contributions based on the location of their property.
The government also announced a system overhaul to provide a consistent, state-wide FSPL that will make the charge simpler and more consistent and reflect the establishment of Fire Rescue Victoria. 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 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.
Treasurer Tim Pallas said 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.
“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,” the treasurer said.