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Whitsunday Regional Council resolved today to work with both the State and FederalGovernments to address issues of overcrowding in some share houses in Bowen.
Mayor Jenny Whitney said issues relating to overcrowding in Bowen share houses, particular inrelation to the fruit picking industry, have been of concern to Council for some time.
“Council has very limited powers when it comes to entry to private properties and dealing with this complex issue, which is why Council will now work with all levels of government to address this potentially life threatening issue,” Mayor Whitney said.
“Queensland Fire and Emergency Service have the powers of immediate entry to properties formatters relating to fire safety, which is critically useful when dealing with the issue of overcrowding.
“A collaborative approach with different agencies within the State and Federal Governments willhelp to alert property owners, renters and locals to the safety risks and implications ofovercrowding.
“Based on previous complaints, Council will also carry out a selective surveillance program onhouses suspected of overcrowding.
“Council will also develop fact sheets, in English and Korean, informing occupiers of therisks associated with overcrowding and various building, local law and planningrequirements in relation to overcrowding,” she said.
Council will also undertake the following further actions to address the overcrowding issue inBowen:
• Write to the Residential Tenancy Authority informing them of housing suspectedof overcrowding• Write to the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services informing them of housingsuspected of overcrowding• Write to the owners of housing suspected of overcrowding informing them of theirbuilding, local law and planning requirements in relation to overcrowding• Write to the Australian Tax Office advising of potential tax evasion activities as aresult of suspected overcrowding• Write to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection advising of potentialimmigration evasion activities as a result of suspected overcrowding.
Council believes this collaborative approach will help address the safety issue of overcrowding in share houses in Bowen.
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