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Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Amendment (Fair Protection for Firefighters) Bill 2011

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2011

 

 

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

 

 

 

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

 

 

 

SAFETY, REHABILITATION AND COMPENSATION AMENDMENT

(fAIR PROTECTION FOR FIREFIGHTERS) Bill 2011

 

 

 

 

EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

 

 

 

 

 

Circulated by the authority of Adam Bandt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Amendment

(Fair Protection for Firefighters) Bill 2011

 

 

 

 

OUTLINE

 

The Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Amendment (Fair Protection for Firefighters) Bill 2011 amends the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 to create a legal presumption that, if a firefighter has been employed for a certain period before being diagnosed with one of 7 types of cancer, the employment is taken to have been the dominant cause of the contraction of that cancer.

 

The qualifying period is different for each type of cancer, and firefighting duties must have made up a substantial portion of the duties of the firefighter in order to qualify.

 

 

NOTES ON CLAUSES

 

Clause 1 - Short Title

 

This is a formal provision specifying the short title of the bill.

 

Clause 2 - Commencement

 

This provides for the commencement of the Act. It provides that the Act will commence the day after the Act receives Royal Assent.

 

Clause 3 - Schedule(s)

 

This clause provides for the effect of schedule 1.

 

Schedule 1 - Amendments

 

This item inserts provisions into the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 relating to cancers contracted by firefighters.

 

A new subsection 7 (8) in Part 1 provides that, should a firefighter be diagnosed with one of seven primary site cancers after a set number of years of being employed as a firefighter (with a different qualifying period for each cancer type as determined in the table), the employment is taken to have been the dominant cause of the contraction of the cancer, unless the contrary is established.

 

The creation of this legal presumption is designed to increase access to workers’ compensation for those who qualify.

 

A new subsection 7 (9) provides that the firefighter must have been involved in firefighting duties as a substantial portion of his or her duties in order for subsection 7 (8) to apply. It also allows firefighters who have been employed for several periods that add up to the qualifying period to have been taken to be employed for the qualifying period.