MOU strengthens collaborative efforts to improve backpacker accommodation

Efforts to ensure that backpackers and rural workers have safe accommodation while working in the Southern Downs region have progressed further with a joint Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed last week.

Southern Downs Regional Council and Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) signed the MOU to develop a broad inclusive strategy to guide the coordinated delivery of investigation and enforcement functions between the two agencies.

The coordinated delivery of joint investigative and enforcement functions will provide improved compliance with local government planning, building and fire safety laws and reduce incidences and complaints of overcrowding in relation to the non-resident workforce within the region.

Southern Downs Mayor Tracy Dobie applauded this development.

“Council has been working with QFES for the past six years to ensure that backpackers and seasonal workers have safe accommodation while they’re working and living in our region.

“This is one of the many initiatives that Council has instigated to improve the experience for these workers in the horticultural industry, and we look forward to continuing this positive and important collaboration with QFES.

“Underpinning this MOU and the ongoing efforts of Council and QFES is the great value that our region places on the backpackers and seasonal workers that come to work here.

“We want them to have a positive, enjoyable and safe experience while they’re here in our communities, in our workplaces and in the accommodation places in which they reside.

“We don’t want them to be taken advantage of, because without them our horticultural industry and local economy would suffer,” said the Mayor.

SDRC Mayor Dobie signs MOU with QFES Reps - 7 March 2017

L-R: QFES A/Superintendent David Tucker, (Executive Manager, Investigations & Compliance Section), Southern Downs Mayor Tracy Dobie and QFES Inspector Neil Fanning (Manager, Community Safety Operations),

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