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    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Infrastructure and Planning
    The Honourable Stirling Hinchliffe


    Minister for Infrastructure and Planning
    The Honourable Stirling Hinchliffe

    Thursday, April 15, 2010


    A new mandatory code to improve the standard of temporary accommodation buildings in Queensland will come into effect from 1 July 2010, Minister for Infrastructure and Planning Stirling Hinchliffe announced today.

    “The pressures of rapid resource development, particularly in coal mining areas, has resulted in the use of temporary buildings of a poor standard which fail to provide adequately for the health, safety and general comfort of the workers who reside in them,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

    “Current building regulations do not adequately address minimum standards for temporary accommodation buildings, particularly those in mining regions and it’s just not good enough.

    “The State Government is aware the Queensland Resources Council has concerns about the changes, which are estimated to cost the mining industry approximately $18 million per year.

    “However, given the thousands of Queensland workers directly impacted, and the potential expansion of the industry across the state, improving conditions is imperative.

    “We are committed to improving conditions for mine employees who work hard and deserve better.’’

    Mr Hinchliffe said workers at Queensland mines or in rural areas were often forced to live in temporary accommodation buildings as traditional accommodation options was limited.

    “We sometimes see temporary accommodation buildings being used for very long periods without being reassessed when projects are extended, or new projects are started,” he said.

    “They are also occasionally used as a ‘granny flat’ or for temporary housing while a permanent home is being constructed.

    “The new code will require all temporary accommodation buildings to meet a range of minimum standards to improve the health, safety and well-being of the occupants, as well as providing environmental benefits.

    “It will also assist councils to intervene and take enforcement steps where unapproved buildings—or buildings where approval times have expired—remain on-site.”

    The new code will require all temporary buildings to meet a range of minimum standards including:

    • adequate fire safety standards, such as smoke alarms and emergency exits
    • clearly defined amenity standards—individual bedrooms require to have a floor area of at least 5.6m² and access to either an en-suite or communal toilet and bathroom
    • a communal kitchen or dining area, or individual food preparation areas in rooms will be required
    • pest, dust and noise mitigation measures
    • the same building standards that apply to permanent buildings to prevent damage from strong winds; and
    • energy and water-efficient fittings.

    The new code is not retrospective and will not affect existing, lawful temporary accommodation buildings.

    If an existing temporary accommodation building does not comply with the conditions of the original development approval, the local government can take action under the Building Act 1975 and the Sustainable Planning Act 2009. This may involve having a temporary accommodation building removed from the site.

    “Councils will have the ability to choose whether to make owners comply with the new code, or to remove unlawful temporary accommodation buildings,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

    “The Government is committed to ensuring that the standard of temporary buildings and structures throughout the state are of a high standard.’’

    The code can be viewed at

    Media contact: 3224 8750