Firefighters diagnosed with cancer will be supported by new workers compensation funded by an increase to the emergency services levy.
Parliament passed the legislation, which covers 12 types of cancer, last year.
The legislation assumes that firefighters diagnosed with any of those cancers developed it as a result of exposure to smoke or chemicals as part of their work.
However, the increase to the emergency services levy, paid by NSW councils, was made after many councils, including Shoalhaven City Council, had already formalised their budgets and sent out rates notices to residents.
The increase to the levy would have cost Shoalhaven City Council about $350,000.
On Tuesday, August 13, at the RFS office in Nowra, Minister for Local Government and South Coast MP, Shelley Hancock, and Acting Premier John Barilaro announced the NSW Government would cover the $13.6 million levy increase for the 2019-2020 budget period.
Local councils would then be expected to pay the levy increase.
Mrs Hancock acknowledged the proposed levy increase had caused "some angst".
"We know that local governments do it tough sometimes," Mrs Hancock said.
"Their communities want them to fund roads and community facilities. I'm pleased to have the support of the premier and the deputy premier, to make it a bit easier for local government."
It did come as a bit of a shock to local governmentMitchell Pakes
Mr Barilaro said the legislation was about recognising the role firefighters from all organisations - including Fire and Rescue, the Rural Fire Service and National Parks and Wildlife - play in our communities.
"The legislation was passed to give our firefighters the cover they deserve," he said.
"They risk their lives for our families and our communities.
"This legislation had bipartisan support, but there was a timing issue.
"We believe it was the right thing to do to fund that gap."
Shoalhaven City Councillor Mitchell Pakes praised the legislation, and the state government's decision to pay for it in the short term.
"This piece of legislation is one of the best pieces of legislation this government has passed," he said.
"It did come as a bit of a shock to local government. I contacted Shelley, and she fought the good fight for us. I don't think there is any issue with councils finding the money into the future."