Lismore MP Janelle Saffin said she welcomed the government's decision to fund the first year of the levy hike for local councils.
Lismore MP Janelle Saffin said she welcomed the government's decision to fund the first year of the levy hike for local councils.

Saffin welcomes ‘backdown’ on levy

A STATE Government decision to fund the first year of the increase to the local government Emergency Service Levy, has been welcomed by a Labor MP.

Janelle Saffin, member for Lismore, called the decision by the Berejiklian-led Liberal-National government "a stunning backdown", believing it will benefit councils in regional areas.

"I hope this government will learn a lesson from this debacle that you don't just dump a big bill on councils, and in effect ratepayers, with scant warning or consultation and expect people to wear it," Ms Saffin said.

"The one-year reprieve for councils is welcome because it will save our four local councils a total of $341,970 in 2019-2020 and it means 128 councils across New South Wales will not have to find $13.6 million out of thin air."

The Lismore MP who entered the parliament this year after securing the seat in the March election, said she hoped the government would now work with local councils to redesign the funding of the scheme.