AN illegal and unsafe budget accommodation building in Gatton has been prohibited from operating today following a successful action by Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) in the Supreme Court.
QFES Commissioner Katarina Carroll said QFES took action to successfully seek an interim injunction which prohibited accommodation being provided at the premises last week. The injunction was made permanent today.
"The threat to life at these premises was so serious that QFES officers decided to take action in the Supreme Court as a matter of urgency, to ensure the building owners did not continue to provide accommodation to any person," Ms Carroll said.
"Due to the construction of the two storey building, guests would be faced with unprotected and extended travel distances when exiting the premises, as well as a lack of smoke alarms and emergency lighting.
"If a fire started at this building, our officers were concerned the people inside would have had absolutely no chance of escape.
"We're confident that today's court action will prevent a serious tragedy and protect at risk persons like transient workers and international tourists working in the horticulture industry from serious risks such as injury or death."
Ms Carroll said she was satisfied with the successful outcome, which prohibits the building's owners from providing illegal budget accommodation at the site permanently.
"This sends a strong message to those individuals and companies who put profit before people and operate budget accommodation that does not have appropriate fire safety systems," she said.
"People operating budget accommodation buildings have the lives of others in their hands and cannot ignore vital fire safety requirements.
"QFES is serious about building fire safety in Queensland and today's action is a demonstration of our commitment. We will continue to work with relevant authorities to ensure illegal budget accommodation operators are held to account.
"Budget accommodation fire safety standards in Queensland are some of the toughest in the country and owners who fail to comply could face maximum fines of over $200,000 and face possible imprisonment."
Members of the public that would like more information regarding fire safety in budget accommodation buildings or would like to report a building that appears to be operating as a budget accommodation building are urged to visit qfes.qld.gov.au