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    Media Statements

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

    Emergency exemptions to allow immediate fire safety system repairs

    Minister for Infrastructure and Planning
    The Honourable Stirling Hinchliffe

    Friday, January 21, 2011

    Emergency exemptions to allow immediate fire safety system repairs

    Licensed contractors will be able to repair flood damaged fire safety systems immediately under emergency exemptions included in the Sustainable Planning Act (SPA).

    Minister for Infrastructure and Planning Stirling Hinchliffe said the emergency exemptions would see fire safety systems such as sprinklers and smoke detection and alarm systems repaired without delay – and allow those living in unit complexes or employed in commercial or industrial buildings to return sooner.

    He said normally fire safety repair work conducted by licensed contractors required building approvals from local governments. Under the exemption, councils will be notified in writing and work allowed to occur immediately.

    The work will then be inspected by councils or the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service at a later date.

    “Repairs and replacement of major components of fire safety systems normally require building approvals which can take time,’’ Mr Hinchliffe said.

    “However under the Sustainable Planning Act 2009, there is an exemption for building works in emergency situations.

    “Under this exemption, repairs or replacement of fire safety systems can be conducted without a building approval by advising the Local Government in writing.

    “While I understand the very real need for people to return to their homes and to work, the QFRS are recommending that people delay occupation of affected buildings until the building’s fire safety installations are functioning correctly.

    “These exemptions are designed to ensure potentially life-saving fire safety systems can be repaired as quickly as possible.’’

    Emergency Services Minister Neil Roberts said the QFRS would provide free advice on fire safety measures that may help building owners and occupiers to mitigate the risks of fires before damaged fire safety systems were fully operational.

    “Building owners can email the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service at fireris@dcs.qld.gov.au with a contact name and phone number and a Queensland Fire and Rescue Service officer will make contact and book a time to provide fire safety advice as soon as possible,” Mr Roberts said.

    Media: Minister Hinchliffe – (07) 3227 8425; Minister Roberts – (07) 3239 0199