Firefighter Protection Bill passes the reps

Australia
Firefighter Protection Bill passes the Reps
The Melbourne Age reported that yesterday (Thursday), more than 60 firefighters gave a standing ovation in Parliament after a Greens bill giving firefighters easier access to workers' compensation cleared a major hurdle.

The Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Amendment (Fair Protection for Firefighters) Bill 2011, was sent from the lower house to the Senate. It was not opposed.

The Member for Melbourne Adam Bandt said the Bill could become law across the federal jurisdiction within a matter of weeks. Despite disagreement in the Coalition party room over concerns it might set a 'bad' precedent, the opposition decided not oppose the bill.

The Victorian government says it will wait for the final outcome of the bill through Federal Parliament before giving it consideration. Read the full Age story.

WA: Top firefighters awarded
Firefighters who bravely fought the Hills bushfires earlier this year - and a young cancer battler - were among those recognised at a FESA awards ceremony. Read the full Perth Now story.

Qld: Firefighters battle blazes across Queensland
Firefighters are still battling several bushfires across the state, including one near Boonah that has been burning since Monday and another near Rockhampton. Read the full Brisbane Times story.

International
NZ: Industrial Action
The NZPFU has filed a new Notice of Strike Action to take effect later in the month. Bans cover a wide range of work other than responding to emergency incidents and restoring appliances to operational readiness. New Zealand's firefighters have been taking industrial action for more that 70 days. The campaign over a new Collective Employment Agreement has continued since November last year. Find out how to give them your support.

NZ: Firefighters want boss replaced
Christchurch professional firefighters are calling regional fire management’s performance during the February 22 earthquake “woeful” and want the regional boss, Rob Saunders, to resign or be dumped. New Zealand Professional Firefighters Union southern branch president Denis Fitzmaurice said an inquiry by the chief executive national commander Mike Hall into the earthquake backed up their claims. Read the full story.

UK: FBU pensions campaign latest
The government wants firefighters and other public sector workers to pay more, work longer and still get less for their pensions. The FBU says this is daylight robbery. Read more about the Union's pensions campaign.

UK: Firefighter pension contribution hikes could cost taxpayer £250m
Putting up firefighter pension contributions could cost the taxpayer £250 million over the next three years warns a new independent actuaries report commissioned by the Fire Brigades Union. One in four firefighters say they will consider leaving the scheme if their already high contribution rates go up further. The full story.

USA: Firefighters battle labor-curbs bill
Ohio's firefighters are at the center of an escalating fight over an effort to repeal a state law that would limit collective-bargaining rights for 350,000 public employees. Read more.

USA: Georgia County considers using prisoners as firefighters to cut costs
Officials say hiring inmates as firefighters would be more cost-effective than the other options. Read the full story.

USA: Black firefighters hail court ruling slamming FDNY's hiring policy
The decision criticises the City for not doing enough to promote diversity. Read more.

USA: Oldest Fire Department to use new technology
New illuminating helmet bands to help increase safety. Unlike currently high visibility colors and reflective striping that require an external light to be seen, the new products act as their own light emitter - they have the capacity to absorb and store light and then release it as a bright luminance in the dark. Read more (promotional media release).

UK: Firefighting aid to Nablus
As part of the The Fire Brigades Union Scotland’s international humanitarian project to deliver fire and rescue equipment to the Nablus Fire Department, new kit and equipment will be taken on two fire appliances from Dundee to Nablus through Israel. Read the full story.

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