Major win as Qld fireys get compo deal
QUEENSLAND'S volunteer firefighters will be eligible for the same compensation as their NSW counterparts.
Details on how to access the money could be available within days. It comes after weeks of Morning Bulletin campaigning.
The Federal Government on Tuesday confirmed the compensation package (up to $6000 per eligible firefighter) that was awarded to New South Wales had been locked in for Queensland.
"The same package is available and confirmed, so compensation will go ahead in the same way it is with NSW," a spokesman from Prime Minister Scott Morrison's office told The Morning Bulletin on Tuesday morning.
"The Commonwealth is paying volunteer fire fighters, the states administer it.
"Given the scheme is retrospective for the current fire season, no Queenslander, who would be eligible, will miss out."
A spokesman from Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk's office said the premier received written confirmation from Mr Morrison on Tuesday afternoon of Queensland's inclusion in the compensation scheme for volunteer firefighters.
While details on how the Queensland Government would distribute compensation, and to whom, were not provided, a spokesman for the Premier indicated that was imminent.
"The Queensland Reconstruction Authority and Emergency Management Australia have been working closely to finalise finer details," he said.
"They will continue to work together to ensure people eligible for the scheme know how to apply as soon as possible.
"As the Prime Minister has said, the scheme is retrospective so no eligible Queenslander will miss out."
A Queensland Fire and Emergency Services spokesperson said QFES "expects to be able to provide further details directly to volunteers in the coming days about access to one-off payments for those eligible."
At the weekend Mr Morrison announced money would be made available to NSW RFS volunteers who were self-employed or working for small or medium-sized businesses and who had been called out for more than 10 days this fire season. The payments of up to $300 per person, per day - up to $6000 in total - will be tax-free and not means-tested.
The Prime Minister said this was not about paying volunteers but instead protecting them from financial loss.