PREMIER Annastacia Palaszczuk hit back against claims she turned down the federal government’s offer of compensation for volunteer firefighters in Queensland.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced on Sunday that volunteer firefighters battling the long-running blazes in New South Wales would receive up to $6000 in financial compensation for putting their lives on the line.
The payments of up to $300 per day will be available to Rural Fire Service NSW volunteers who are self-employed or work for small and medium businesses.
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The Courier Mail later reported Ms Palaszczuk had turned down the offer because it is not a national scheme, a decision which disappointed Mr Morrison.
“Given the scheme is retrospective for the current fire season, no Queenslander who would be eligible will miss out if the state government decides to take up the federal offer,” the Prime Minister told the newspaper.
“It is disappointing that Labor in Queensland are reacting this way after the positive discussion I had with the premier last night,” he said.
On Sunday night, Ms Palaszczuk released a statement, denying the government had refused the offer.
“Queensland’s volunteer firefighters deserve the same level of federal government support as do other volunteer firefighters across the country,” Ms Palaszczuk said in a statement.
“I made that clear to the Prime Minister during our phone conversation on Saturday evening.
“Queensland has not refused the offer.
“I will write to the Prime Minister as I have indicated.”