Media Releases

Read all of Paul Scully MP's media releases right here


September 27, 2018

NSW Labor has today proposed new laws to slash red tape enabling firefighters in the Illawarra to claim workers compensation should they be diagnosed with cancer.


The Workers Compensation (Firefighters’ Presumptive Rights to Compensation) Bill 2018 was introduced into the New South Wales Parliament today and would provide for an automatically presumed cause of cancer by occupational hazards while firefighting.


To be eligible, a firefighter must be diagnosed with one or more of 12 listed cancers and have the requisite years of service.


A cancer diagnosis must take place either during the firefighter’s term of employment or within 10 year of their retirement from active firefighting and the application for compensation.


This Bill will bring New South Wales in line with other Australian jurisdictions.


Studies have conclusively confirmed that firefighters’ are at higher risk of contracting certain cancers due to their exposure to hazardous substances while performing firefighting duties.


A list of cancers and firefighting qualifying periods is below:

  • Primary Leukaemia - 5 years
  • Primary Site Brain Cancer - 5 years
  • Primary Site Breast Cancer - 10 years
  • Primary Site Testicular Cancer - 10 years
  • Multiple Myeloma - 15 years
  • Primary Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma - 15 years
  • Primary Site Bladder Cancer - 15 years
  • Primary Site Colorectal Cancer - 15 years
  • Primary Site Kidney Cancer - 15 years
  • Primary Site Prostate Cancer - 15 years
  • Primary site Ureter Cancer - 15 years
  • Primary Site Oesophageal Cancer - 25 years


The Berejiklian Government has finally indicated it will act on this issue in media reports today.  The Government should support the passage of NSW Labor’s Bill as soon as possible.


Comments attributable to Ryan Park MP:


“I simply can’t understand why the Berejiklian Government has been so slow to act and introduce laws to protect our firefighters when they are diagnosed with cancer.


“We should be cutting the red tape and providing access to workers’ compensation immediately upon diagnosis of a cancer illness for firefighters.


“Labor’s proposed laws will right-a-wrong of years of inaction by this Government.”


Comments attributable to Anna Watson MP:


“Firefighters put their lives on the line day in and day out and they should be treated with more respect from this Government.


We need to support our firefighters in their time of need. They protect us and now it’s up to us to protect them.


“Our proposed laws seek to help our firefighters gain access to the workers’ compensation they deserve.”


Comments attributable to Paul Scully MP:


“We depend on our firefighters’ to help protect us and we should stop at nothing to make sure they are protected if they are diagnosed with cancer.


“We already know from conclusive studies that firefighters are at higher risk from a cancer diagnosis because of exposure to hazardous materials.


“One thing they should not be forced to fight is red tape and filling in forms when they should be focusing on beating cancer.”