Unregulated accommodation is a ticking time bomb

The Accommodation Association of Australia is urging consumers to choose their accommodation provider carefully in the wake of a hostel fire in Sydney’s west.

“It’s extremely fortunate that this fire hasn’t ended in tragedy,” said the association’s chief executive, Richard Munro. “There is a growing issue with unsafe and illegal accommodation, with hazardous events appearing to occur more and more frequently. It shows that there just isn’t enough oversight on compliance and safety standards, which allows rogue, often illegal providers to take advantage of people.

“Safety is one of our members’ biggest priorities and the vast majority of accommodation providers are doing the right thing by their guests on the compliance and safety front,” he said. “This latest incident can be added to the growing body of evidence that something must be done so consumers have guaranteed safety and are able to make properly informed choices when selecting accommodation.

“We’ve formed a working group of members and our industry peers to provide advice on the 2015 Australian building code review. Our aim is to ensure that illegal, non-compliant and unsafe accommodation is eliminated from the market.

“I once again implore all levels of government to work with industry on this initiative – particularly those who follow the rules and provide safe, comfortable environments for their guests – to uphold the reputation of Australia’s accommodation and tourism sectors.

Two people were taken to hospital following a fire at a 28-room hostel on Parramatta Rd Concord, in Sydney’s west last week. 35 people were staying at the property when the fire broke out.

Earlier this month 18 backpackers had to be saved from a fire in an illegal hostel in a Sydney industrial complex.
The City of Sydney has also given the owners of a heritage-listed Victorian era house in Rushcutters Bay being used as an illegal backpacker hostel 17 days to close.

Photo: Daily Telegraph

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