Labor finally bows to pressure to support volunteer firies

The Palaszczuk Labor Government has finally bowed to pressure and voted to give volunteer firefighters access to adequate workers compensation.

Shadow Minister for Police, Fire, Emergency Services and Corrective Services, Jarrod Bleijie, said the Parliament had today passed a Bill to protect all Queensland firefighters who contract one of 12 specified cancers in the course of protecting the community – without the need to fight 150 fires.

Mr Bleijie 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,” he said.

“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.”

Mr Bleijie said the LNP had vowed not to give up the fight for Queensland’s 35,000 volunteer fire fighters and their families.

“Like the rest of Queensland, the LNP respects the hard work, dedication and sense of service that permanent, part-time, auxiliary and volunteer rural firefighters have,” he said.

“I’m thrilled that we’ve had a win for rural firies across the state.”

[ENDS] 17 September 2015