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July 1, 2014

Stay safe when warming up this winter – Brisbane

With cooler temperatures being felt across the state, firefighters are urging Queenslanders to exercise caution when warming their homes.

Member for Kallangur, Trevor Ruthenberg MP said that the winter months were busy for firefighters, with more call outs to house fires than other months of the year.

“Last winter, Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) fire crews attended 139 house fires in Brisbane region,” Mr Ruthenberg said.
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June 2, 2014
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Bill Shorten backs plan for Australians to pay for asbestos certificates

Home owners and landlords will have to pay for asbestos certificates before selling, leasing or renovating properties, under a federal government proposal to be negotiated with the states.

Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten gave his personal backing to the asbestos-alert strategy.

He said one in every three homes built between 1945 and the mid-80s contain asbestos, a mineral fibre that can cause the lethal lung cancer mesothelioma.

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April 1, 2014

OVERRULED: Short term letting OK in Class 2 buildings

The Victorian Court of Appeals has ruled that the use of self-contained apartments as short term serviced apartment accommodations does not mean that the proper classification of apartments under the Building Code has changed from Class 2 to Class 3 in a decision sure to please the tourism and rental sector – albeit with a warning to maintain safe properties.

The appeal overturned the original decision of the Building Appeals Board of Victoria, who had found that Class 2 “dwellings” only applied to long term residencies. The Appeals court reversed that decision by taking the definition of ‘dwelling’ to mean ‘a place of residence or abode, whether temporary or permanent’. This broadened definition allows for short term letting of Class 2 buildings so long as there are facilities for separate occupation. This is important because Class 2 have less stringent ‘deem to satisfy’ requirements under the Building Code of Australia (BCA). These can include but are not limited to requirements for fire, exit ways and egress, disability access and emergency systems. READ MORE