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Volunteers Welcome Fiskville Redress Scheme

VFBV has welcomed today’s announcement by the Victorian Government of the establishment of a Fiskville Redress Scheme to support Fiskville affected persons.

The scheme will open on Monday 5th September 2022, and addresses a key recommendation from the 2016 Parliamentary Enquiry into Fiskville.

The enquiry recommended that the Victorian Government establish a dedicated redress scheme offering a range of options such as access to health services, a financial payment and a meaningful apology.

While it has taken a while, this is an important milestone, especially for those still dealing with the physical and mental effects of their time at Fiskville. In our discussions with Government, we have emphasised our support for a victim centred approach, and that provides support for people to ensure the evidentiary burden is not onerous or unachievable, that volunteers and members of the community are eligible to apply and that the scheme provides acknowledgement and reassurance to those impacted that they will be supported.

Further details of the scheme will be shared following the schemes launch early next month, including eligibility, how to apply and other frequently asked questions.

In the same way that firefighting is an inherently dangerous activity, the exposure to toxins released during combustion and sometimes the agents used to extinguish fires also pose a large risk to firefighters. The historic Fiskville experience demonstrates that these toxic exposures can be present in hot fire training scenarios in just the same way as random fire events. All firefighters must be protected from these exposures and supported if they suffer illness as a result of exposure.

As we said in our March 2015 submission to the enquiry - whatever underlying causes contributed to the exposure of the firefighters attending Fiskville in the past, one thing that must be resolved is the fair protection of any firefighters who may be suffering illness as a result of past practices.

Today’s announcement is an important step in honouring that commitment, and honouring our firefighters both volunteer and career.

 


UPDATE (05/09/2022)

The scheme is now open, and accepting applications for people who had prolonged exposure to toxic substances at the former Fiskville Training College site between 1971 and 2015.

The scheme offers a range of options including a financial payment, and access to mental health counselling and medical health support.

You can contact the support team for a confidential discussion or assistance with your application:

1300 315 198 Between 9:00 am-4:30 pm, Monday-Friday (excluding public holidays)

or via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

The scheme is administered by the Department of Justice and Community Safety and is independent of the Country Fire Authority.

To download an application form, or review further information, you can visit: https://www.vic.gov.au/redress-fiskville 

 


About VFBV: VFBV is established under the Country Fire Authority Act and is the peak body for CFA Volunteers in Victoria. VFBV works tirelessly to represent, advocate and support CFA volunteers to the CFA Board and management, governments, ministers, members of parliament, councils, instrumentalities, business and the public. Our vision is for Strong Volunteerism, Embraced to Build Community Resilience for a Safer Victoria.

 

 

Media: Quotes may be attributed to VFBV CEO, Adam Barnett on behalf of Volunteer Fire Brigades Victoria.

Read 4956 times Last modified on Tuesday, 06 September 2022 13:14
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CFA Volunteers are the unpaid professionals of our Emergency Services. VFBV is their united voice, and speaks on behalf of Victoria's 60,000 CFA Volunteers.

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