Further to our article titled “New Panel to consider compensation for firefighters” whereby the Victorian State Government has recently announced that a “specialist panel” will be created to consider claims for compensation from firefighters who have contracted cancer as a result of their employment, it has come to our attention that this “Panel” has been described as a cynical bid to kill off laws acknowledging the link between firefighting and cancer.
New firefighters compensation Panel a cynical bid to kill off laws acknowledging the link between firefighting and cancer
Panel a hurdle for sick Victorian firies
by: By Melissa Iaria From: AAP August 21, 2013
The government announced the panel on Tuesday, on the eve of state parliament debating a Greens motion on a bill recognising the link between the profession and cancer.
The Firefighters Assessment Panel will be managed by the Victorian Workcover Authority with the support from the CFA and comprise expert medical, technical and claims specialists.
The Greens have introduced a bill aiming to make it easier for Victorian firefighters who contract cancer from their job to obtain compensation by reversing the onus of proof, so if a firefighter suffers from one of 12 specified cancers shown to be common among firefighters, it will be considered work-related, unless proved otherwise.
But Emergency Services Minister Kim Wells says the government will not be introducing presumptive legislation until it considers a Monash report, due next year, and other studies.
“We’ve brought in this other system which we think is a step forward, but we’ll look at the studies that come on board,” he said.
A small number of firefighters employed by the commonwealth, mostly at airports, are able to claim government compensation after a federal law was passed in 2011.
“This is no fix, this is designed to derail Colleen’s motion,” he said.
“We’re only asking to get access to our WorkCover entitlements if we get crook.”
Kindly shared by co-author Trinny
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