Bunk bed laws protecting Queensland children from today
The risk of unsafe bunk beds harming Queensland children will now be reduced with new laws coming into effect today.
Attorney-General Paul Lucas said the new regulations give short-term accommodation providers until the 21 October 2013 to ensure all bunk beds meet minimum safety standards.
He said that while mandatory safety standards had been in place for bunk bed suppliers and manufacturers since 2002, there were older, unsafe bunk beds still being used in some holiday apartments and camping facilities.
“Unsafe bunk beds pose a very real and serious risk of injury for children,” Mr Lucas said.
“Parents who book holiday accommodation for their families in good faith are entitled to expect that their children will be staying in a safe sleeping environment.
“The regulation protects children by requiring bunk beds to include practical safety features, such as guardrails to prevent children rolling out of the upper bunk.
“Gaps and protrusions in a bunk bed are also safety assessed to ensure they do not create strangulation or choking hazards for children.
“Serious childhood injuries have a devastating affect not only on children, but also their parents, family and friends, and the broader community.
“For the Queensland government child safety is paramount and we will continue to make changes to safety laws to better protect our children.”
Under the new regulations a person who supplies accommodation for a period of 60 days or less to people under the age of 16 will be required to ensure that all bunk beds meet minimum safety standards.
Mr Lucas said previous consultation highlighted that some tourism businesses and community-based organisations were concerned about the costs and implementation issues associated with upgrading existing bunk beds.
“I acknowledge that there may be practical and financial issues for short-term accommodation providers who have large numbers of older bunk beds,” Mr Lucas said.
“That is why the regulation allows almost two years for the upgrade or replacement of bunk beds that do not meet the minimum safety standard.
“However, I strongly encourage short-term accommodation providers to take action on this issue as quickly as possible.”
Over the next 22 months the Office of Fair Trading will be proactively working with those within the industry to ensure they are ready for the commencement of the regulation on 21 October 2013.
07 3227 8425
www.fairtrading.qld.gov.au or call 13 74 68.