Firefighters Cancer compensation back on the table

Presumptive rights compensation for firefighters is back on the table following a motion by Western District MP James Purcell to have the legislation reintroduced.

Mr Purcell has asked the Labor Government to reintroduce the legislation independent of the CFA reforms elements, which were defeated in April.

"Bundling the presumptive rights compensation with the Fire Services reform meant that both parts of the bill were defeated," he said. 

"I consulted heavily with both career and volunteer firefighters over the original Firefighters Presumptive Rights Compensation and Fire Services Legislation Amendment (Reform) Bill last year and while there was much controversy over the reforms, there was unanimous agreement that the Presumptive Rights Compensation was an essential and overdue piece of legislation."

The purpose of the Firefighters' Presumptive Rights element of the bill was to provide a rebuttable presumption to claim compensation under the Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2013 for career firefighters and volunteer firefighters who are suffering, or will suffer, from specified forms of cancer.

Mr Purcell has asked the Labor Government to expedite the passing into law of a new bill that addresses only the Presumptive Rights Compensation legislation before the close of Parliament in October.

Presumptive Rights had support among volunteer and career firefighters and members of both the Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council, Mr Purcell.

"I think you would be hard pressed to find anyone in Government or the community who would deny our hard working firefighters and their families access to support and compensation for illnesses they may have contracted performing their duties.

"After months of turbulence for our firefighting community and political game playing, I sincerely hope the Government and opposition will jump at the  opportunity to do the right thing and get this done."