Support for Territory Workers: Return to Work Legislation Passes

The Legislative Assembly tonight passed amendments to the Return to Work Act to improve the operation of the NT Workers’ Compensation Scheme, and reverse a number of changes made by the CLP in 2015.

As a result of amendments, the Northern Territory is now amongst the first Australian jurisdictions to provide presumptive legislation for PTSD for first responders. Further, the Northern Territory is leading the nation with an additional four cancers now recognised in our cover for Territory firefighters.

These changes recognise that our first responders are exposed to extremely difficult situations during the course of their work and are at greater risk of developing PTSD.

The presumptive legislation means that PTSD and the four newly recognised cancers are recognised to have been caused by work unless the employer can establish otherwise.

The amendments made to the Return to Work legislation ensure that the NT Workers’ Compensation scheme remains viable and operates efficiently, while providing increased fairness and support to injured workers for a timely return to work.

As noted by the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Natasha Fyles:

“The Northern Territory is among the first Australian jurisdictions to provide presumptive legislation for PTSD for first responders – an important acknowledgement that these emergency services personnel can be exposed to horrific incidents in the course of keeping Territorians safe.

“We were amongst the first jurisdictions to recognise firefighters are at greater risk of developing certain cancers, and today we have done more to protect them by adding four more cancers to the list covered under presumptive legislation.

“Looking after our workers is something the Territory Labor Government has always taken seriously and this legislation is evidence of that. These changes reverse poor decisions made by the CLP in 2015 which disadvantaged our workers.”

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