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ICA urges incoming NSW Labour Government to remove ESL

31 March 2023

The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) has urged the newly elected NSW Labour Government to remove the Emergency Services Levy (ESL) from premiums and to take other action to improve resilience.

Chris Minns is set to become the first NSW Labour Premier in 12 years after Liberal leader Dominic Perrottet conceded defeat in Saturday’s election.

“The Insurance Council congratulates the Minns Labour Government on the NSW election win and looks forward to working with the new Government on measures that improve community resilience and put downward pressure on insurance costs for households and businesses,” ICA CEO Andrew Hall said today.

“In this context, the new NSW Government should act to remove the Emergency Services Levy from insurance premiums and look at alternative solutions for funding, as shown to work in other states and territories.”

The ICA made the ESL an election issue by launching an advertising campaign ahead of the election to highlight that NSW is the last mainland state to still fund emergency services through a levy on premiums.

“At a time when adequate insurance cover is more important than ever, home insurance customers in NSW are paying the most tax in Australia and this is leading to lower levels of insurance when compared to other states,” Mr Hall said today.

ICA is also calling on Labour to invest in resilience measures such as community infrastructure, improved early warning systems and home retrofit programs.

The extension of the Resilient Homes Program beyond the Northern Rivers to other high-risk areas of the state would also see communities become more resilient and durable to extreme weather events, it says.

ICA says the new government should also review land use planning arrangements to prevent the development of homes in high-risk areas.