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More protections for volunteer firefighters

Rene Hidding, Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Management

The Hodgman Liberal Government values the crucial role our 5000 volunteer firefighters play in protecting the community and we will take action to provide them with the same protections under the law as paid firefighters.

Career firefighters currently have access to compensation based on the presumption that some cancers may be linked to occupational exposure.  However, volunteer firefighters currently need to meet the requirement of 150 exposure incidents over 10 or five years, depending on the type of cancer, to qualify under the current laws.

It is time to remove the unfair requirement on volunteer firefighters who risk their lives to protect us, and we will act to give our hard-working volunteer firefighters greater peace of mind when undertaking their duties.

Our intention is to introduce a Bill to both Houses of Parliament by the end of this month to amend Section 27 of the Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation Amendment (Firefighters) Bill 2013.  

We make this commitment today on the brink of all our firefighters facing another fire season, and I thank them all for the great work they do every day in keeping Tasmanians safe and look forward to presenting the Bill to Parliament.