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NSW panel holds first meeting on ESL reform 

The NSW Government has held initial meetings with a newly formed expert panel to discuss models to replace the Emergency Services Levy (ESL). 

The Stakeholder Reference Group includes representatives from the insurance and property industries, local business and council representatives and emergency service experts.  

The meeting, held on Friday, was chaired by NSW Treasurer Daniel Mookhey, as the state government looks for new ways to fund emergency services.  

“Broad consultation across the sector and wider community is crucial to ensure we have a funding system that’s fair and sustainable for everyone,” Mr Mookhey said.  

“The NSW Government is determined to get this right and deliver lasting reform that will fund our emergency services and remove the burden of this levy from insurance bills.”  

Mr Mookhey says the government will also seek advice from the public in the coming weeks with a consultation paper.   

The state government announced plans in November to eliminate the ESL, which taxes insurance premiums to help fund emergency services. The levy has added 18% to residential insurance costs, and exacerbated underinsurance, with 35% of NSW households not holding contents insurance and 5% of homeowners without building insurance.  

NSW is the only mainland state that still has an ESL in place.