CFS cancer compensation debate

COMPENSATION: Local member for Stuart Dan van Holst Pellekaan challenged Premier Jay Weatherill's commitment on allowing CFS volunteers equivalent cancer compensation compared with their MFS counterparts.
COMPENSATION: Local member for Stuart Dan van Holst Pellekaan challenged Premier Jay Weatherill's commitment on allowing CFS volunteers equivalent cancer compensation compared with their MFS counterparts.

Local member for Stuart Dan van Holst Pellekaan has challenged Premier Jay Weatherill's commitment to Country Fire Service volunteers after the Labor leader visited Port Augusta on Saturday, February 1, 2014. 

"If the Premier is genuinely grateful for the work of the CFS volunteers, then why doesn't he provide them with the health care that they deserve?" Mr van Holst Pellekaan said.

"The same as he has given to the metropolitan fire fighters."

The comments come after Mr Weatherill commended the work of everyone involved in fighting the Bangor bushfire, however he refused to budge on equivalent cancer compensation for CFS volunteers compared with their metropolitan counterparts.

The Premier defended his party's policy which sees CFS volunteers awarded compensation once they have attended 175 incidents or served for five years.

"The basic principles are clear, if you have a work-related injury or disease you will be fully compensated by the South Australian Government," he said.

"We have the most generous presumption provision anywhere in Australia barring Tasmania...the changes the CFS are urging upon us would cost the state budget an extra $90 million.

"They [CFS volunteers] are not in the same situation, they are not full time firefighters."

Mr van Holst Pellekaan reaffirmed the Liberal Party's commitment.

"All fire fighters are exposed to potentially cancer causing situations and should have the same access to compensation if cancer occurs," he said.

"If elected in March, a Marshall Liberal Government will provide CFS volunteers with the same access to compensation for specified cancers as paid fire-fighters."

This story CFS cancer compensation debate first appeared on The Transcontinental.