Web_State-must-protect-firefightersEvery day, our CFA volunteer and paid firefighters put their lives on the line for us. Firefighters have five to 10 times the risk of certain cancers than you and me. They are two to three times more likely to get lung cancer than a smoker. All because of their work protecting our community. Yet firefighters and their families are not protected. When they get sick because of their work, it’s almost impossible to access Workcover protections that other workers would have.

To change this unacceptable situation I introduced Fair Protection for Firefighters legislation in February this year and six months later we’re still waiting for the government to act. When Greens MP Adam Bandt introduced federal laws to protect firefighters, he had the support of all parties – Greens, Labor, Liberal and National. I hope for the same here in Victoria.

The Napthine Government says that more work needs to be done, but the researchers they are waiting for have stated clearly there is no need to delay any longer. Tell us Mr Ryan, will you support firefighters and their families in your electorate? Will you commit to legislating fair protection for them when Parliament returns in August? Let’s protect those who protect us.

Colleen Hartland, Greens MP and Victorian Greens spokesperson for Emergency Services.