CODE 2, VOL 35, NO 13 : 12 may 2021
PRESUMPTIVE LEGISLATION FOR PTSI PASSED BY PARLIAMENT
As you would know, after many years of campaigning, in September 2015, the Palaszczuk Government passed amendments to Queensland’s workers’ compensation laws that introduced presumptive legislation for Firefighters who are diagnosed with one of 12 cancers. UFUQ members have benefited greatly from these laws. But cancers are not the only work related injuries that significantly affect UFUQ members, and since 2015 your union has been campaigning for similar presumptive legislation for PTSI.
Over the last 6 years, the UFUQ have taken every opportunity to advance the interests of members with regard to this matter, including via submissions to and participation in Senate inquiries and reviews of the Queensland workers’ compensation scheme, participation in relevant stakeholder reference groups, and by lobbying the Palaszczuk Government directly.
I am pleased to report that earlier today, 12 May 2021, Queensland Parliament passed amendments to Queensland’s workers’ compensation laws to include presumptive legislation for PTSI for Firefighters and Fire Communications Officers (and other ‘first responders’).
I thank the Queensland Parliament and in particular the Palaszczuk Government for passing these important amendments. I have no doubt that UFUQ members who find themselves in need of care and support for their mental health will benefit greatly from these laws in the years to come. Once these laws take effect, it means that if you are diagnosed with PTSI (by a Psychiatrist) you will not have to prove that your employment is a ‘significant contributing factor’ to your injury. You will no longer have to engage in the often overwhelming and daunting claim determination process. With a diagnosis from a Psychiatrist, your injury will be deemed to be work-related and you will have immediate access to workers’ compensation benefits without further investigation or having to retell your stories.
You can also find a copy of the relevant explanatory notes here and here.
I will provide a further update for the benefit of members regarding when we may expect these laws to take effect when more information about this is available, but for now we rightly celebrate this historic win.
John Oliver - General Secretary
Authorised by John Oliver General Secretary
United Firefighters' Union of Australia, Union of Employees QLD