After months of claiming the bungled Fire and Emergency Services Levy is ‘deferred’, NSW Treasurer Perrottet pulled out his best Tony Abbott quote during Budget Estimates to confirm the costly scheme was “dead, buried and cremated.”
Under questioning by Labor, the Treasurer was unable to rule out insurance policy holders being slugged more on their next premium because of his government’s incompetence. It was also stated during the hearing that Local Government has been compensated for the FESL bungle.
Taxpayers have already parted with more than $25 million dollars for the failed FESL including $11.14 million on council grants to implement all land in NSW while another $7.76 million was splashed around on staff, advertising, consultants and other expenditure.
Hundreds of thousands of dollars were also spent on focus groups and market research on the botched scheme- the Treasurer could not confirm he had read the consultant report. More than 20 staff in NSW Treasury had worked on FESL since 2012. However the NSW Government still took until the 11th hour to realise the project was a dud.
Quotes attributable to Shadow Treasurer Ryan Park
“The failed FESL can hardly be dead, buried and cremated if it is still costing taxpayers money.
“The Treasurer needs to rule out insurance hikes for this bad idea, because it was their bungle not the taxpayers’.
“They had five years to get this right, before pulling the plug at the last minute, but not before they squandered more than $25 million dollars on it.”