Community groups no longer need to pay fire levy

COMMUNITY organisations will no longer have to pay the fire levy after amendments to legislation to exempt them.

Member for Burnett Stephen Bennett said the amendments to both the Fire and Rescue Act and the Fire and Rescue Service Regulation would be introduced in State Parliament.

"These amendments will provide levy exemptions for Class E community organisations such as cemeteries, churches, showgrounds, community halls and libraries," he said.

"An organisation will be able to seek an exemption through their local government, and if they have paid a levy in 2014 seek a refund from July 1."

Mr Bennett said the levy was being applied to community organisations as an unintended consequence of the legislation.

Mr Bennett said Member for Bundaberg and Community Safety Minister Jack Dempsey had agreed to introduce the amendments into the State Parliament.

Bundaberg Mayor Mal Forman said the council had noted State Government representatives had forwarded the concerns of residents regarding the Emergency Management Levy on to the minister.

"Any support for a reduction in the levy for community organisations would be welcomed by the council," he said.

"While it is unclear at this early stage what effect this may have on council facilities. Any savings for the council are ultimately savings for ratepayers," Cr Forman said.

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