Forest firefighter compensation claims

Melbourne Water firefighters who are diagnosed with certain types of cancers may be able to access compensation through our WorkCover process, under the Forest firefighters’ presumptive rights compensation scheme.


The scheme applies to staff with firefighting roles from a range of Victorian Government agencies, including staff from the following organisations and their predecessors:

  • Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action (DEECA)
  • Parks Victoria
  • Melbourne Water
  • VicForests
  • Department of Jobs, Skills, Industry and Regions (DJSIR).

Melbourne Water firefighters are eligible to access the scheme if they meet all of the following criteria:

  • were diagnosed as having a specified cancer on or after 1 June 2016
  • are a current forest firefighter or have been a forest firefighter within the last 10 years
  • have served the required period (5-25 years, depending on the cancer), or can demonstrate attendance at an exceptional exposure event
  • attended fires to the extent reasonably necessary to fulfil the purpose of their service as a firefighter.

Assessment process

Melbourne Water firefighter Worker’s compensation claims can be forwarded to [email protected].

All claims will be assessed by Melbourne Water, supported by WorkSafe and the Forests (Forest Firefighters Presumptive Rights Compensation) Advisory Committee. The advisory committee is made up of individuals with expertise and experience in:

  • forest firefighting
  • scientific research on the relationship between firefighters, occupational exposure and cancers
  • Australian law or public administration.

The Advisory Committee provides advice on the eligibility of individual forest firefighters to receive the presumption. The committee also considers whether forest firefighters who do not meet the qualifying period requirement may be eligible for special consideration if they demonstrate attendance at an exceptional exposure event.

More information

To find out more: 

 WorkSafe Victoria website

 DEECA Customer Service Centre: 1800 957 219

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