Tasmanian Government Introduces Emergency Services Compensation Legislation into Parliament
Friday 3 November 2017 @ 10.08 a.m. | Legal Research
The Tasmanian Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Management, the Hon Marinus Theodoor (Rene) Hidding MP, has introduced the Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation Amendment (Presumption of Cause of Disease) Bill 2017 (the Bill) into the Tasmanian Parliament’s House of Assembly on 31 October 2017.
On 2 November 2017 the Bill passed through the House of Assembly [without Amendments] and is currently waiting to be introduced into the Legislative Council.
The proposed legislation will amend the Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (Tas) (the Principal Act).
Background to the Bill
According to the Bill’s [Draft] Explanatory Memorandum, the proposed amendments have been introduced to remove the existing requirements on volunteer fire-fighters to access compensation based on the presumption that some cancers may be linked to occupational exposure.
The amendments will insert a requirement for a review as to whether an occupational presumption should exist for relevant workers in regard to post-traumatic stress disorder.
The Proposed Amendments
During 2013, amendments were made to the Principal Act which established a rebuttable presumption that particular forms of cancer developed by fire-fighters, are taken to be work related for the purpose of claiming workers compensation under the Act.
The new legislation will remove the requirement for volunteer fire-fighters to attend a specified number of exposure events.
In the Minister’s [Hidding] Second Reading Speech in the House of Assembly, he was quoted as saying:
Minister Hidding also acknowledged the role played by volunteer emergency services in protecting the community:
Brief Overview of the Amendments
The proposed legislation includes amendments to the principal Act:
- Section 27 (Presumption as to cause of certain diseases in relation to firefighters) – This section is amended removing all references to the requirement for volunteer fire-fighters to attend a specified number of exposure events.
Amended s 27 also provides that volunteer fire-fighters diagnosed with a disease which occurs between 30 October 2013 and 30 October 2017, will be subject to the exposure event requirement. If the disease occurs on or after 31 October 2017 onwards, the new provisions will apply.
- Section 162A (Review in relation to presumption in respect of PTSD in relation to certain workers) – New s 162A is inserted, requires in part, the Minister for Building and Construction to commission a review by 30 June 2018 as to whether a presumption that post-traumatic stress disorder is occupationally linked for relevant workers should be included into the Act. The review is required to tabled in both Houses of Parliament by 1 October 2018.
TimeBase is an independent, privately owned Australian legal publisher specialising in the online delivery of accurate, comprehensive and innovative legislation research tools including LawOne and unique Point-in-Time Products. Nothing on this website should be construed as legal advice and does not substitute for the advice of competent legal counsel.
Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation Amendment (Presumption of Cause of Disease) Bill 2017 (Tas) - Bill and supporting information available from TimeBase LawOne Service.