Gatton Magistrates Court (File image).
Gatton Magistrates Court (File image).

Gatton man busted with 62 charges for illegal accommodation

A GATTON man has been fined $12,000 for operating two illegal budget accommodation buildings in the Lockyer Valley.

 

Local horticultural workers were renting beds at two Lockyer Valley addresses that were deemed unsafe by Queensland Fire and Emergency Services.

 

Inspectors attended both properties between October 2019 and January 2020, 11 times and discovered multiple building fire and safety breaches.

 

The Gatton man was instructed to rectify the breaches which he failed to do, resulting in him being pleading guilty in the Gatton Magistrates Court to 62 charges relating to building and fire safety offences.

 

The court heard that nine people were renting beds at one address, where the defendant was also living, and another nine people were also renting beds at the second address.

 

Breaches included no emergency warning systems such as smoke alarms, no building emergency lighting, no unit signage, no compatible door hardware and no fire safety management plan for the premises.

 

Acting Magistrate Deborah Turner said the lives of the workers living in the accommodation had been endangered as a result of the breaches.

 

QFES Commissioner Greg Leach said the matter came to the attention of inspectors after one of the residents living in the accommodation made a complaint.

 

Despite multiple visits from QFES officers at each address the man still failed to rectify the fire safety breaches.

 

Commissioner Leach said it is crucial that owners of budget accommodation ensure fire safety standards which exist to keep occupants safe are met.

 

"QFES inspectors routinely audit budget accommodation buildings statewide, including boarding houses, farm stays and share houses and will not tolerate breaches of fire safety standards" Commissioner Leach stated.

 

The man was fined $12,000, plus costs, and no conviction was recorded.


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