Fire fighters will have one less battle to fight after the LNP introduced the Protecting Firefighters Bill into Parliament.
Shadow Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Services and Corrective Services Jarrod Bleijie said the Bill amended the Workers Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 to further protect fire fighters.
“In a state like Queensland, with the range of wild weather conditions firefighters are often called upon to protect and rescue people during, fires, wild storms, floods, cyclones and bush fires,” Mr Bleijie said.
“This Bill will provide presumptive coverage to help all Queensland firefighters who contract one of 12 specified cancers in the course of protecting the community.
“These changes will provide the highest level of support in the country.”
Mr Bleijie said the amendment would ensure that all firefighters including full-time, auxiliary and volunteer firefighters in Queensland who contract one of the 12 specified cancers would be covered.
“If a firefighter suffers one of the 12 cancers that was deemed to be ‘work-related’, it will be presumed the cancer was caused by that employment for the purposes of a workers compensation claim.
“Like the rest of Queensland, the LNP respects the hard work, dedication and sense of service that permanent, part-time, auxiliary and volunteer rural firefighters have and the innate sense of selflessness these men and women display on a daily basis, protecting lives and property around this state.
“It is important we repay them for this dedication through this Bill and bring Queensland firefighters in line with their counterparts across Australia.”
Mr Bleijie said the Bill followed on from the landmark Accord signed between the LNP Government and the United Firefighters Union of Queensland last year and delivered on an LNP commitment to the Rural Fire Brigade Association of Queensland.
“There are 35,000 volunteer fire fighters in Queensland and this legislation will protect all fire fighters – irrespective of pay status or the colour of the fire engine,” he said.
“This is about making the process easier. The last thing someone needs when they are told they have cancer is to go through an extra battle making sure they can take the time they need for treatment.
“The LNP is committed to reducing red tape to make it easier for Queenslanders to go about their lives.”