The Government will introduce amendments to workers compensation legislation to reverse the onus of proof for NSW firefighters who are diagnosed with one of 12 prescribed cancers and meet the applicable minimum employment periods.
Anyone who is diagnosed from today onwards will be entitled to the presumption, subject to the passing of this legislation.
Known as presumptive legislation, similar provisions have been introduced in most other states and territories and the Commonwealth over the past seven years.
The Government will oppose Labor's Bill because, as described by the Shadow spokesman, it contains a 10-year post employment limitation on making a claim.
The Government believes that our firefighters deserve better protection and is currently finalising the costings and operational changes required to implement its preferred reform, which will not contain Labor's 10-year limitation period.
Over the past 12 months, the Government has been consulting closely with the Fire Brigade Employees Union and the Rural Fire Service Association which represent the 100,000 plus current and former firefighters who will benefit from this reform.
The principal firefighting agencies including Fire and Rescue NSW and the Rural Fire Service have also been part of the consultation.