The Emergency Services Levy (ESL) is an annual charge paid by all property owners in Western Australia.
Every dollar raised through the ESL pays for the delivery of critical and life-saving fire and emergency services across the State. In the event of a structure fire, bushfire, flood, storm, cyclone, hazardous spill, road crash or any other emergency on land or sea, our role at DFES is clear.
We are here to protect this State and its people; your property and assets; the places you live, work and play; and your community. The ESL helps us to deliver fire and emergency services for all Western Australians — at any time of the day and night and throughout the year.
If you are a property owner, the amount of ESL you are required to pay is published in your property’s local government rate notice.
The amount is marked “Emergency Services Levy” so you can distinguish the ESL amount from other local government charges.
When you pay your rate notice, your local government forwards the ESL amount to DFES.
DFES invests all of the ESL it receives into fire and emergency services. No matter where you live in Western Australia, you will see the direct result of your ESL being invested in the community.
To calculate the exact amount requires a property’s gross rental value (GRV) as at 1 July 2023. This will be printed on your 2023-24 council rates notice.
You may be able to use the GRV on your 2022-23 rates notice to get an indication of your ESL charge in 2023-24, but please be aware that:
GRVs are re-assessed every three to six years and are also updated when changes are made to a property. This could affect the valuation of your property from 1 July 2023; and
The calculated ESL charge may be an under-estimation if the property is a multi-unit residential building. This is because higher ESL charge thresholds apply for these properties depending on the number of units/tenancies.
Local governments collect the ESL from private property owners on behalf of DFES with the charge included on with rates notices.
The ESL collected is remitted to DFES and is used solely to pay for fire and emergency services throughout WA.
DFES pays local governments an annual administration fee in recognition of the services they provide in administering the ESL.
Local governments role and responsibilities in administering the ESL is set out in the Fire and Emergency Services Act 1998 and the accompanying regulations and guidelines, including the ESL Manual of Operating Procedures.
If you have a question about the Emergency Services Levy call the ESL Information Line on 1300 136 099 or submit an online enquiry form.