Lithgow City Council will be able to direct an extra $215,801 into frontline COVID-19 response efforts and core community services.
(min cost $8)
Login or signup to continue reading
This comes from the NSW Government fully funding the local government increase in the emergency services levy (ESL) for 2020-21.
According to Lithgow City mayor Cr Ray Thompson this year's funding was a lot more generous, with last year's sitting around the $8000 mark.
"It's very genernous and it's money that Council doesn't have to find in this year's budget.
"We can use this amount of money that we don't have to find for the emergency services levy," he said.
Cr Thompson said councils were struggling to find the extra funds due to the wake of COVID-19, bushfires and drought.
"The State Government is helping out councils this year because of the COVID-19 situation where a lot of councils are finding it pretty tough to find the funds.
"It's certainly a helpful amount of money because we don't have to try and find it this year, which would have been really difficult for Lithgow Council," he said.
He said the funds would cover compensation of emergency services, in paricular the RFS.
"The RFS is most probably going to be the main recipient of the levy, it's a levy because of the dangerous work that they do," he said.
Bathurst MP Paul Toole said the NSW Government's recent $395 million local government economic stimulus package includes $32.76 million to fund this year's increase.
"Our emergency services have long been funded through a cost sharing arrangement between insurers, councils and the Government," he said.
Revenue NSW will shortly issue councils with their ESL assessment notices for 2020-21 as required by legislation.
The Office of Local Government will pay a grant to each council equivalent to the increase in their ESL contribution for 2020-21.
Subscribing means more than just website access. Read the print paper online, enter giveaways and more for just $2 a week, cheaper than a coffee. What are you waiting for?
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.