Labor finally bows to pressure for firies
Queensland volunteer firefighters will have access to adequate workers compensation following pressure from the LNP Opposition.
Member for Burleigh Michael Hart MP said finally the Palaszczuk Labor Government has listened to reason and voted with the LNP to protect all Queensland firefighters.
Today the Parliament passed a Bill to ensure any firefighter, volunteer or fulltime, who contract one of 12 specified cancers in the course of protecting the community will receive workers compensation.
“Volunteer firefighters across Queensland are the real winners today after Labor agreed to scrap the 150 fire quota,” Mr Hart said.
“Labor pushed for a fire quota that only volunteer firefighters must meet making them attend 150 fires before receiving workers compensation.
“Only the LNP has been fighting to ensure every firefighter whether they are permanent, part-time, auxiliary or a volunteer rural firefighter should receive the same workers compensation.
“It seems a small act to repay this sacrifice by ensuring fair workers compensation is in place if a firefighter suffers from a disease, including cancers, in the course of their employment.”
Mr Hart said it had taken months of tireless campaigning by the Rural Fire Brigade Association of Queensland and the LNP for Labor to finally wake up and realise their own Bill was discriminatory and downright unfair to hardworking volunteers.
“It wasn’t until the Chair of the Finance and Administration, Labor’s Member for Bulimba, described the Palaszczuk Government’s Bill as ‘unworkable’ that the government actually agreed to scrap its ridiculous fire quota.
“The uncertainty, the anguish and the confusion could have all been avoided if the Palaszczuk Government simply supported the original Bill introduced by the LNP three months ago.
“It’s extremely disappointing, but not surprising, that Labor was prepared to dig its heels in and put politics ahead of the protection of hardworking volunteers.”
“Labor owes it to Queenslanders to support the LNP’s Bill so our rural firies get the level of support they deserve.”
[ENDS] 17 September 2015