THE Greens have called on the state government to support their push for firefighters to receive compensation for cancers suffered during their work.
Ballarat federal Greens candidate Stephanie Hodgins-May said there was an onus of proof on firefighters to show they had contracted a work-related disease.
She backed a state bill introduced by the Greens to have that burden removed and said federal Liberal MPs should “pull their state colleagues into line” on the issue.
“So that when (firefighters) do contract cancers related to their work, that they are provided workplace compensation,” she said.
She also repeated claims Western Victoria MP Simon Ramsay had branded action by the United Firefighters Union on the issue a “stunt”.
Mr Ramsay refuted the Greens’ claims and questioned the party’s firefighter bona fides.
“They see themselves as fierce advocates for firefighters but their environmental polices of the past have been bad for firefighters,” he said.
He said a new hearing panel had been introduced by the state government to assess cases which may require compensation.
“I understand there is concern in the firefighting community,” he said.
“What we are waiting for is the scientific data that will provide some conclusivity about diseases contracted in the workplace.”