Volunteers Emergency Services | January 13, 2016

Kealy to host Hamilton visit by Shadow Minister

Nationals Member for Lowan Emma Kealy will host a visit to Hamilton next week by Mr Brad Battin, Shadow Minister for Emergency Services and Environment.

“Brad is keen to give our local communities the opportunity to discuss and highlight important local projects and issues facing our local CFA and volunteers,” Ms Kealy said.

Emma Kealy and Brad Battin will be visiting the Hamilton area to meet with the North Hamilton CFA brigade to sign a pledge to give all firefighters non-discriminatory access to compensation for cancers contracted as a result of their work.

Ms Kealy said the introduction of presumptive legislation would ensure a greater level of protection for almost 60,000 CFA volunteers across the State who provide a critical role in Victoria’s emergency response.

“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 work as a firefighter, thereby reversing the onus of proof,” Ms Kealy said.

“The Liberal-National Coalition in Government, were strong supporters of Victoria’s CFA volunteers and will support the introduction of a system that is fair for all firefighters.

“Firefighters protect all Victorians every day. They all deserve the right to equal protection,” she said.

The visit will also include a tour of the Hamilton Aerodrome to discuss funding needed to upgrade facilities for aerial firefighting which is vital for fire suppression in south west Victoria.

“The previous Coalition government committed $250,000 in the 2014-15 financial year, with the balance of the project planned to be allocated in the 2015-16 budget, Ms Kealy said.

“The Labor Government has failed to fund the scheduled stage two works. I have written and met with the Minister for Emergency Services calling for Labor to commit to this project and to match the Coalitions previous commitment to ensure essential firefighting capacity in our local region.

“The completion of this project is vital for fire suppression and in protecting the Grampians and south west region”, she said.

Mr Brad Battin said he was looking forward to meeting with community members and CFA volunteers to give them a chance to highlight some of their great assets and to discuss areas where support is needed.

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