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The Monitor’s functions
The Fire Services Levy Monitor is an independent statutory appointment with substantial powers to protect consumers as Victoria transitions to a Fire Services Property Levy.
The Monitor’s functions relate only to the insurance-based levy which was abolished on 1 July 2013.
The Monitor’s main functions are to:
- Provide information, advice and guidance on the abolition of the fire services levy (FSL)
- Monitor insurance premiums
- Monitor compliance of the industry with laws to ensure policyholders are not:
– subject to ‘price exploitation’ in premiums charged to them; or
– misled about the effect of the abolition of the FSL
- Investigate potential breaches of the law
- Take appropriate enforcement action.
The Fire Services Levy Monitor operates under the Fire Services Levy Monitor Act 2012.
About the Monitor
Professor Allan Fels AO is Victoria’s Fire Services Levy Monitor. Professor Fels was Chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission during the introduction of the GST and most recently completed the Taxi Industry Inquiry.
He also holds the following current posts: Chair of the National Mental Health Commission, and Professor of Government at the Australia and New Zealand School of Government.
Dr David Cousins AM is Deputy Fire Services Levy Monitor. Dr Cousins is an economist and Adjunct Professor with the Centre for Regulatory Studies, Faculty of Law, Monash University, was recently Commissioner of the Taxi Industry Inquiry and has served as Director of Consumer Affairs Victoria.
Prior to this he served as a Commissioner of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and Chairman and Member of the Prices Surveillance Authority. He has worked in private consulting as a Director of KPMG Consulting.
How the Monitor Works
The Fire Services Levy Monitor is overseeing the abolition of the insurance-based fire services levy.
The Monitor provides advice and guidance to consumers and the insurance industry to ensure that insurers genuinely pass on the effects of abolishing the insurance-based levy to policy-holders.
If insurers do not genuinely pass on the savings of the abolition of the levy to policy-holders, the Monitor has the power to take action.
The Monitor accepts complaints from individuals and businesses who hold a policy for insurance against fire and believe their insurance company may have acted unlawfully under the Fire Services Levy Monitor Act 2012.
Unlawful conduct under the Act includes engaging in:
- price exploitation during the transition to new fire services levy arrangements
- false representation, misleading or deceptive conduct in relation to the change in fire services levy arrangements.
If you have a query about how the fire services levy is being charged through your insurance premium, visit the Frequently Asked Questions section of the website or contact the Office of the Monitor for advice.
For information about how to make a complaint to the Monitor, visit our Complaints section.
Related websites regarding the Fire Services Property Levy operating from 1 July 2013
Other related websites
For further information about legislation, visit our Legislation section.