Health Emergency Services Parliament

O’Brien: CFA volunteers must be offered protection

The Nationals Member for Gippsland South Danny O’Brien has today signed a pledge to support legislation that will give volunteer firefighters non-discriminatory access to compensation for cancers contracted as a result of their work.

Mr O’Brien said the introduction of presumptive legislation would provide a greater level of protection for almost 60,000 CFA volunteers across the state who provide a critical role in Victoria’s emergency response.

“The legislation will mean firefighters diagnosed with particular types of cancers are presumed for compensation purposes to have contracted the illness as a result of their employment as a firefighter, thereby reversing the onus of proof,” Mr O’Brien said.

“I am proud to sign this pledge today to show my support to all our volunteers and ensure they are offered equal protection to their professional counterparts.

“I will not support Labor introducing an unfair system that favours some firefighters over others.”

Mr O’Brien said The Nationals in Government were strong supporters of Victoria’s CFA volunteers.

“Last year in Government we announced we would introduce this presumptive legislation.  We also provided the CFA with more than $2.29 billion, which enabled stations like Rosedale, Wurruk, Kongwak, Poowong, Binginwarri and Wurruk to be replaced or upgraded.

“These upgrades ensure that the communities these brigades cover are better protected from the threat of fire and in addition, our dedicated volunteers have facilities that are safe, fit-for-purpose and meet their needs.”

“Firefighters protect all Victorians every day. They all deserve the right to equal protection,” Mr O’Brien said.

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