News and media releases

Increase in emergency services levy

04 May 2019

The NSW Parliament has passed laws that make it easier for firefighters diagnosed with one of 12 specific work-related cancers to access workers compensation entitlements.

These changes bring NSW into line with most other Australian jurisdictions, including the Commonwealth, which have introduced similar provisions for firefighters over the past eight years.  

It’s expected that significantly more firefighters diagnosed with cancer will now be eligible for workers compensation benefits, including loss of income payments, medical treatment expenses and death benefits for those with terminal conditions.

Emergency services levy (ESL) contributions will also go towards funding vital new vehicles and equipment for Fire and Rescue NSW and the NSW Rural Fire Service, as well as ongoing operational costs for these agencies and the State Emergency Service

The new provisions for firefighters will result in a $160 million increase in the cost of funding our fire and emergency services. ESL contributions will increase from 1 July 2019.

For more information, download the ESL fact sheet, call 1300 139 817 or email