Coalition Government to introduce presumptive legislation for firefighters

  • A re-elected Coalition Government will introduce presumptive legislation for all firefighters
  • The legislation recognises the risks posed by firefighters who work on the frontline to keep Victorians safe
  • Coalition Government providing certainty for firefighters and their families

A re-elected Victorian Coalition Government will introduce presumptive legislation for all volunteer and career firefighters, Deputy Premier Peter Ryan announced today.

“The introduction of presumptive legislation is a significant change to the system of compensation entitlements and will provide a greater level of protection for more than 1,800 MFB firefighters and almost 60,000 CFA volunteers across the state who provide a critical role in Victoria’s emergency response,” Mr Ryan said.

“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.

“This is about providing certainty for Victoria’s hardworking firefighters and their families.”

Mr Ryan said that the Coalition Government would determine the structure and content of the presumptive legislation once the findings of the Monash University’s Australian Firefighters’ Health Study are released.

“The Monash Health Study is the most comprehensive of its type ever to be conducted in Australia, and will be used to guide the development of the legislation, in consultation with MFB, CFA and Volunteer Fire Brigades Victoria, and a careful consideration of such legislation in other Australian states,” Mr Ryan said.

Minister for Police and Emergency Services and Bushfire Response Kim Wells welcomed the announcement, which builds on the Coalition Government’s significant reforms in Victoria’s fire services over the past four years.

“This is a big win for Victoria’s firefighters, and recognises the risks faced by those who work on the frontline to keep the community safe from the threat of fires and other emergencies,” Mr Wells said.

“The Coalition Government has a proven and strong commitment to supporting CFA  and MFB firefighters, providing more funding to Victoria’s fire agencies than any previous government.

“Since coming to office the Coalition Government has provided the CFA with more than $2.29 billion and the MFB with more than $1.45 billion.

“These record investments mean our firefighters continue to be the best resourced and funded in Australia and has ensured Victoria is now better protected than ever before.”

Media enquiries:   Les White les.white@minstaff.vic.gov.au 0409 805 122   CHQ Media Office (03) 9652 3601              media@vic.liberal.org.au