An RFS firefighter in NSW refuses to shake Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s hand. Picture: Supplied.
An RFS firefighter in NSW refuses to shake Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s hand. Picture: Supplied.

Qld fireys could get compo in their pockets mid-January

QUEENSLAND'S volunteer fire-fighters could start receiving compensation payouts as soon as mid-January.

While the State Government is yet to release details on how the package granted by the Federal Government this week will be distributed, it is understood this is the timeframe it is working towards.

Representatives from both governments met in Canberra on Thursday to finalise finer details of the compensation scheme.

"Draft guidelines have been sent to the Commonwealth," a Queensland Government spokesman said on Friday.

"Finalisation of the scheme is imminent and further advice should be provided soon."

Under different circumstances, Prime Minister Scott Morrison may have been able to sign off on the draft guidelines on Friday.

That could still happen but Mr Morrison faced the added challenge of responding to abuse from locals who berated him at the fire-ravaged town of Cobargo in New South Wales.

At least one fire-fighter refused to shake the Prime Minister's hand during his visit to the town on Thursday. Asked about the criticism on Friday, Mr Morrison said: "All I know is that they are hurting, and it's my job to try and offer some comfort and support.

"That's my job, I don't take these things personally, why would I?"

Robert Lang, Central Queensland advocate for the Rural Fire Brigades Association of Queensland, who represents 47 brigades in the region, said he had not been told anything about how volunteer firefighters would be compensated.

"I'd be very interested to see the draft guidelines," he said.

"I just hope it's a uniform approach across all of the states."