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  • Rikki Lambert

NSW Fire volunteers pleased with Coalition compo pledge

The NSW Rural Fire Service Association told Flow on Wednesday a pledge made by the Perrottet government earlier that day to increase compensation for injured emergency service volunteers came from lobbying on that front.

The changes would boost lump sum compensation payments for Bushfire, Emergency and Rescue Services scheme (BFERS) volunteers. The payment available to a volunteer suffering whole person impairment greater than 10 per cent would rise to the same levels available to the general workforce and be indexed.

NSWRFSA president Scott Campbell told Flow:

"This increase is in the range of $200,000-300,000 - in some cases even higher - so it's a significant amount of money that volunteers were missing out on if they were injured in the line of volunteering.
"This has been a long term battle of ours that we've had with government to increase the level of impairment payments for volunteer emergency services if they were injured.
"It gives us the assurance that if we are injured in the line of duty we will have the full coverage now and the full benefit of that payment available to workers."

Hear the full interview with the NSWRFSA president Scott Campbell on the Flow podcast player below:

Emergency Services Minister and Cootamundra MP Steph Cooke said the commitment to

increase compensation payments will provide additional support to volunteers who

find themselves in the most difficult of circumstances.

“Volunteers are our unsung heroes and we simply couldn’t have made it through the ongoing flooding emergency without their incredible efforts.
“Once legislation is passed in the next term of Government, volunteers will have confidence that they will be financially supported if injured on the job.

Mr Campbell acknowledged the pledge did appear to depend on the Coalition winning another term in office, as the NSW Labor opposition had not by Wednesday made a similar pledge.

The Opposition has been asked for a response.


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