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Bipartisan support for firefighter cancer compo likely

The controversial volunteer firefighter cancer compensation battle will be ashes by the end of the week.
The controversial volunteer firefighter cancer compensation battle will be ashes by the end of the week. File

THE controversial volunteer firefighter cancer compensation battle will be ashes by the end of the week.

The LNP says it is likely to vote for the ALP's revised Workers Compensation amendment that puts our rural fire brigade members on the same footing as their paid colleagues.

Employment and Industrial Relations Minister Curtis Pitt on Tuesday announced his government would drop the clause requiring Queensland's 35,000-plus volunteer firies attend 150 events - such as fires or floods - over five years before being eligible for dormant or hidden disease compensation.

The Treasurer also confirmed the 10-year limit on making a claim was no longer on the table.

His newly amended bill and the LNP's proposed plan, which had no discriminatory provisions, were set to be debated last night or early today.

The state's MPs are most likely to vote on the issue today.

Shadow Emergency Services Minister Jarrod Bleijie said he believed Labor and the cross-benchers would vote against his party's proposal.

"I suspect what will happen is if the government gets the majority of the house to support their amendments, then they will ultimately vote against our bill," Mr Bleijie said.

"In that case we (the LNP) would support the omission of the 150 from the government's bill and support the amended bill in that regard.

Rural Fire Brigades Association Queensland general manager Justin Choveaux said the red and yellow army was happy "common sense has prevailed in George St".

"This has been a long hard slog by the association to achieve this outcome that is beneficial to all firefighters regardless of a firefighter's pay status," Mr Choveaux said.

Mr Pitt adjusted his bill after the Finance and Administration Committee on September 8 recommended the 150 events clause be dropped.

The committee recommended the State Government appoint a panel of experts to consider each compensation claim.

It also found the LNP's bill had drafting errors and lacked scientific evidence.

Topics:  fire brigade workers compensation



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