ON NOTICE: Compliance crackdown at Maryborough hotels
A MARYBOROUGH hotel has been slapped with a warning notice for allegedly operating as an unregistered accommodation provider.
The Royal Hotel's ability to provide housing is in question as council and State Government investigations continue.
Now, after a council compliance crackdown, more venues have been caught up in a State Government safety blitz.
Fraser Coast Regional Council chief executive officer Ken Diehm said the council was working with State Government agencies and the owners of a number of Maryborough buildings being used for shared accommodation.
The aim was to ensure they complied with planning, building, accommodation and plumbing and drainage legislation.
"The State Government agencies are leading the planning work around alternative accommodation for residents that may be displaced during the process while the council is working with the building owners to help them comply with planning and building regulations," Mr Diehm said.
"Representatives from State Government agencies, local housing providers and the council have been meeting each Friday to co-ordinate the process while staff are working with residents to find new accommodation and the building owners address outstanding compliance issues."
A spokesman from the Department of Housing and Public Works confirmed investigations were under way.
"The department understands that the Fraser Coast Regional Council is dealing with the Royal Hotel regarding its suitability for housing," he said.
A year ago, the Department of Housing and Public Works issued the operator of the Royal Hotel, Maryborough, with a warning notice advising that the department was of the opinion the building was being operated as an unregistered residential service, in breach of the Residential Services (Accreditation) Act 2002, the spokesman said.
"Following further information received from the Fraser Coast Regional Council, the department is also investigating additional accommodation sites to ascertain if they are also unregistered," he said.
Maryborough MP Bruce Saunders said he had received reports from members of the public about safety concerns, including overcrowding at some venues in the CBD.
"We didn't want another Childers tragedy where people lost their lives," he said, referring to the backpacker hostel fire that killed 15 people in 2000.
Mr Saunders said no-one would be made homeless as a result of the blitz, even if people had to leave their hotels.
"They will not be forced out onto the street, that won't be happening," he said.
"My job is to make sure we rehouse the people."
He said a task-force had been set up to put plans in place regarding housing for those who might need it.
Mr Saunders said occupants were paying rent and it was only fair they be homed in accommodation that met the right standards.
"It will be for the benefit of everyone and hopefully the owners will do something about the buildings and bring them up to standard."
Mr Saunders said the council's staff would now work through issues with the city's hotels to make sure they were compliant.
The Chronicle sought a comment from the Royal Hotel but none was received at the time of going to press.