Legal motel owners angry

WHEN 21 bunk beds were found crammed into a three-bedroom Wantley St residence last week, it raised questions about the possibility of more unregistered backpacker accommodation operating around town.

Warwick Fire Brigade Acting Inspector Steve Dundas said they had not heard word of, or had located, any other places of similar nature around Warwick.

But that doesn't stop registered hotel operators from being concerned.

The manager of a Wood St motel, who preferred not to be named, said she was concerned these types of hostels could damage business.

"It would have to take clients," she said.

The manager said it was not fair other hotels and motels had to pay a number of fees to keep their business up and running, and these people were dodging the costs.

"We've got to pay for all our rates and regulations and insurance and everything else, and they come in and do that.

"Of course it's annoying," she said.

But her concerns didn't stop there.

"It's dangerous. All you've got to do is look at the Childers incident," she said.

"I just think it's wrong that they're trading illegally, especially when everyone else in town is trying to do the right thing."

Another Warwick motel manager from Alexander Motel on Wentworth St said he too was annoyed people were operating unregistered accommodation sites.

"We've got to pay squillions of dollars a year," he said.

"It's got to affect every accommodation in town."

He said monitoring the operation of these houses would be a difficult task.

"I don't know how you would monitor it."

A Queensland Fire and Rescue Spokesman said people caught operating these sorts of houses could face up to $200,000 in fines or imprisonment, depending on circumstances.

People who wish to report a suspected unregistered accommodation should email: qfrs.complianceandprosecution@dcs.qld.gov.au.


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