ESL remission bill will have its day soon

As the new Marshall Liberal Government settles into the job of governing South Australia, our legislative agenda is beginning to take shape.

One of the first and most significant pre-election commitments was to reinstate the remission on the Emergency Services Levy (ESL).

The levy, which funds emergency services, is charged to property owners to support the CFS, SES and MFS. When originally established, the Government supported the full cost of the levy by providing a part remission for those obliged to pay.

When the previous Labor Government removed the remission and began applying the full cost, it was met with a great deal of disappointment and push-back. That decision significantly increased the cost to landowners, households and businesses.

It also raised the ire of the many residents of Eyre Peninsula who willingly volunteer their time and skills to serve within our emergency services.

The decision to reinstate the remission was not taken in isolation, but as part of a broader platform aimed at reducing the cost of living in South Australia. Ultimately, the cost of the ESL remission will be about $90 million annually to the budget, but we will effectively return that money to the pockets of ordinary South Australians.

With the sitting schedule now locked in, we will see the ESL and other election commitments coming before the Parliament. In my role as chairperson of committees, I am responsible for managing legislation through the committee stage of the debate.

The committee of the House of Assembly is where members (usually opposition ministers, but not always) are able to ask questions of the minister responsible. The questions are taken clause by clause, and generally relate to the practical application of a new Bill. It is at this point that amendments can be proposed and voted on.

Once the committee stage is complete, a Bill then passes the House of Assembly (Lower House) and progresses to the Legislative Council (Upper House).

Debate continues and further amendments can be moved, before returning to the Lower House for final agreement.

After the introduction, debate and passage through both Houses of Parliament, a Bill is signed by the Governor, and becomes legislation within the state.   

PETER TRELOAR

Member for Flinders