The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal are reviewing the prices that Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) can charge for some of its user-pays services.
Fire and Rescue NSW may charge for some of its activities such as false alarm call-outs to automatic fire alarm systems, hazmat emergencies that last longer than an hour and statutory fire safety inspections.
They do not charge for attending fires and rescuing people. The funding for these activities comes from an emergency services levy paid by property insurers, local councils and the NSW Government.
“We would like to hear from people and businesses that use, or may use, Fire and Rescue NSW. This includes councils, the development industry, and people that deal with hazardous materials or manage automatic fire alarm systems,” said IPART Tribunal member Sandra Gamble.
FRNSW charges $1,600 in some cases when it attends an automatic fire alarm that is a false alarm.
They attend close to 45,000 false alarms each year which takes resources away from other operations.
“We are reviewing the fee charged for false alarms to ensure the incentives are right and working for the community”, Ms Gamble said.
IPART’s review is not looking at the emergency services levy, and not looking at introducing charges for the core functions funded by the levy.
We will make recommendations on which services should have separate charges, how those charges should be structured to reflect costs, and what level they should be set at.
IPART’s recommendations will inform a review of the Fire Brigades Regulation.
We have released an Issues Paper with more information and are seeking feedback, via the IPART website, by 12 October 2021.
We will then release a Draft Report and hold a public hearing before making final recommendations.