A Cairns hotel owner and their company have been ordered to pay $28,900 in fines and legal fees after a successful prosecution by Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) led to eight building fire safety charges.

The defendant, Nevgold Pty Ltd, pleaded not guilty in the Cairns Magistrates Court this week to the charges related to the Fire and Emergency Services Act 1990 and the Building Fire Safety Regulation 2008.

During a two-day trial, the court heard QFES identified non-compliance issues on several inspections between 12 June – 29 July 2020.
Safety Assessment Officers found several issues including the nightly locking of doors on an evacuation route required to be used by accommodated guests in the event of fire. 

In the event of an alarm sounding, the court heard guests would be directed via exit signs, emergency lighting and evacuation signs along a path of travel leading to locked doors.

QFES argued the potential for devastating consequences for hotel guests.

The defendant was found guilty of eight charges and was ordered to pay $25,000 along with $3900 in costs. A conviction was recorded.

QFES Commissioner Greg Leach said he hoped this most recent prosecution would serve as a reminder to all property owners and managers to maintain fire safety regulations.

“Safety Assessment Officers conduct routine inspections in buildings across Queensland to ensure people responsible for fire safety building compliance are following legislation,” Mr Leach said.

“This legislation helps to ensure people are kept safe during a fire in hotel accommodation or any other property.

“QFES is committed to working with property owners and building managers to ensure they understand the legislation and their compliance obligations.”

For more information about building fire safety, visit qfes.qld.gov.au/planning-and-compliance/building-owners-and-occupiers