Blocked bill a ‘new low’ says Walsh

By Riverine Herald

A SCHEME to pay compensation for volunteers and paid firefighters with cancer has been blocked in the Victorian Parliament.

Member for Murray Plains Peter Walsh said the Fair Presumptive Rights for Firefighters Bill was originally introduced to the Victorian Parliament by the Liberal Nationals in May 2018.

“Daniel Andrews and the Labor Party voted it down then, and in parliament stooped to a new low by using their numbers to block the bill from being reintroduced and debated,’’ he said.

“The bill the Liberal Nationals sought to introduce this week would have reversed the onus of proof for Victorian firefighters and entitled them to compensation if they suffered from specified forms of cancer and had served a minimum period of time as a firefighter.

“Put very simply, it would have simplified the process for sick firefighters. This legislation is of great importance to firefighters across the Murray Plains electorate.

“I signed a pledge in the presence of a number of local brigades that I would fight for presumptive legislation that is equal for volunteers and paid firefighters, and that is what I will continue to do.

“Daniel Andrews refusal to support the bill is a cruel insult to the brave men and women who protect our communities without fear or favour.’’