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 Fire safety

In June 2000, the Childers Palace Backpackers burned down—and 15 people died.

To prevent this kind of tragedy happening again, Budget Accommodation Buildings and Residential Care Buildings must follow mandatory fire safety standards under the Queensland Development Code (QDC).

Budget accommodation buildings

A budget accommodation building is one that provides accommodation for 6 or more people where all or any of the occupants share a bathroom.

Budget accommodation includes:

  • boarding houses
  • backpacker hostels
  • bed and breakfasts
  • farm stays
  • supported accommodation
  • hotels providing sleeping accommodation either as a community service or at commercial rates.

Budget accommodation excludes:

  • hotels without paying guests
  • motels not operating backpacker style (in which individual beds cannot be let)
  • buildings let only as a whole
  • employer provided accommodation
  • educational institutions
  • women's refuges or shelters
  • lifesaver accommodation
  • recreational camps for particular groups.


Budget accommodation buildings built before 1992 must comply with the fire safety standard in QDC Mandatory Part (MP) 2.1—Fire Safety in Budget Accommodation Buildings (PDF, 182KB).

Owners and operators must ensure the building:

Builders and developers of new budget accommodation buildings must ensure the building:

How to comply

Fire safety management plans

Use one of our checklists to create a Fire Safety Management Plan (PDF, 99KB):

Compliance assessment and self-assessment

You can use the guidelines and checklists (linked above), or your local council can also help with compliance assessment, both for new and for existing buildings.

Fire safety contractors

Lists of approved contractors and help to resolve disputes between owners and contractors are available from the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (formally the Building Services Authority).

More information

For more information contact Building Codes Queensland.

Last updated 17 September 2015    

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