CFS volunteer compensation: one step closer

CFS volunteers are one step closer to qualification for compensation for cancers attributed to their voluntary service.

The Greens bill for presumptive cancer compensation treatment under WorkCover for CFS volunteers, and not just their MFS comrades, has passed the Upper House of SA's Parliament.

The issue has been debated several times and each time had received support from the Opposition, minor parties and independents.

CFS volunteers could get presumptive cancer compensation thanks to a bill passed through the Upper House of SA parliament.

CFS volunteers could get presumptive cancer compensation thanks to a bill passed through the Upper House of SA parliament.

Last week it received the same support, with only Labor-elected MPs opposing it.

The bill will now be debated in the Lower House where the vote is likely to rest with Geoff Brock, Bob Such and Martin Hamilton-Smith - who now sit in the Labor Ministry.

All three previously supported the bill in 2013, with Mr Brock co-sponsoring it at one stage when the Greens tried to reintroduce it.

Greens spokesperson on Emergency Services and Industrial Relations Tammy Franks said it was a matter of whether they still supported it.

"It remains to be seen whether the Weatherill Government will be able to impose Labor's position on them in 2014," she said.

"The Weatherill Labor Government yet again showed their contempt for CFS firefighters in the debate (on June 4) and asked them to await the findings of their review.

"A review that is simply yet another diversion from a government that has had to be dragged kicking and screaming towards true CFS equality."

Local Naracoorte CFS volunteers, including Allan Marshall, have welcomed the news that they are one step closer to being protected the same as the MFS - who are exposed to the same working conditions and often work side-by-side with volunteers.

"Of course it's a good thing," Mr Marshall said.

"All this sort of stuff has come up before and singling out one service over another is just plain wrong...it should be a blanket over the whole lot."

Mr Marshall pointed out that Naracoorte CFS brigade attends on average 140 calls a year with around a third being structure fires - including two incidents in the past three months which were fully involved house fires, both containing asbestos.

Asbestosis is one of the cancers covered under the proposed laws.

Smartphone
Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide
Desktop