Landmark laws look after Cleveland firies

11 December 2014

Firefighters in Cleveland will be better protected should they contract potentially life-threatening cancers thanks to new laws to be introduced by the Newman LNP Government.

Fire and Emergency Services Minister Jack Dempsey said the State Government would move to automatically assume that firefighters with cancer developed the disease as a direct result of their firefighting work.

The law reform will ensure firefighters will find it easier to access WorkCover payments and potential compensations claims will be settled more quickly.

“Our firefighters put their lives on the line to serve Queensland,” Mr Demspey said.

“It’s not just fires and natural disasters that endanger our firies – toxic smoke and chemical incidents can pose an equally deadly, but longer-term threat to their health through cancer.

“The Newman LNP Government is working hard to support our fire crews and we want our brave men and women to know they won’t have to fight for a fair go if they are diagnosed with cancer.”

The new laws will apply to all of Queensland’s urban, auxiliary and rural firefighters.

Member for Cleveland said the commitment was reassuring news for local firefighters.

“Unlike Labor, we have consulted widely and listened to firefighters who deserve peace of mind as they respond to emergencies and save lives,” Dr Robinson said.

“Cleveland’s  firefighters serve our community and now we will repay them for that service by providing health security well into their retirement.

“The new laws will deliver for firefighters in our region regardless if they are rural firefighter suffering from skin cancer, or a station officer dealing with prostate cancer.

“Today the Newman LNP Government has also signed a historic accord with the United Firefighters Union to increase consultation with local firefighters into the future.

“I will continue to work with firefighters in Cleveland to ensure that our focus is on frontline services delivering for firies and local families.

“The strong LNP team is the only team who will continue to deliver for firefighters in REGION and across Queensland.”

The new laws will be drafted in consultation with employee representative groups such as the United Firefighters Union of Queensland, Rural Fire Brigades Association Queensland and the Queensland Auxiliary Firefighters Association.