Campaspe Shire Council is clamping down on illegal accommodation springing up to take advantage of an influx of backpackers for the fruit harvest.DARREN LINTON January 23, 2014 4:37am
Council officers are checking for prescribed accommodation premises across the shire that are not registered and/or in breach of the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008.
Campaspe Shire councillor Adrian Weston said the problem of illegal accommodation premises peaked at this time of year.
This was because of an increase in backpackers and farm workers coming to the area for fruitpicking and packing work.
‘‘Council’s environmental health officers are in the process of checking that the shire’s motels, hotels, hostels, holiday camps, rooming houses and places of residential accommodation are registered with council, and are adhering to the requirements of the Public Health and Wellbeing Act,’’ Cr Weston said.
Registration allowed the council to do regular inspections of prescribed residential premises to ensure there was no overcrowding, a reasonable standard of hygiene, sanitation and safety, and to minimise the risk of infectious disease.
‘‘Council takes this matter very seriously and any prescribed residential premises found to be not registered or not complying with the regulations will be issued with a prohibition notice and could face prosecution,’’ he said.
Cr Weston reminded people considering establishing a prescribed accommodation premises they need to make contact with several council departments as part of the set up process.
‘‘Prospective accommodation premises proprietors need to first contact the planning department to ensure the proposed business is able to be conducted at the intended premises, then building (department) to obtain any required building permits, then environmental health (department) to obtain registration,’’ he said.
Rooming houses accommodating three or fewer people and other accommodation types accommodating five people or less, are exempt from registration with the council.
UPDATE: The CFA has downgraded its advice message.
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