INVESTIGATION: Cr Greg Barnes outside the Platinum Apartments in Bargara where overcrowded units is an issue.
INVESTIGATION: Cr Greg Barnes outside the Platinum Apartments in Bargara where overcrowded units is an issue. Mike Knott

Platinum Apartments hit with notices for overcrowding

ONE-THIRD of the units in the Platinum Apartments complex in Bargara will be issued Show Cause Notices for overcrowding.

The news comes as last month the NewsMail reported that Bundaberg Regional Council was conducting an investigation into overcrowding at the apartment block which led to excess garbage in the rubbish bin area.

Bundaberg councillor Greg Barnes said seven of the 21 units would be issued with Show Cause Notices for non-compliance with the building's planning scheme next week.

"We have identified that the operator of those seven units has been renting out the units on a per bed basis," he said.

"That then triggers high density occupation which means more load on our sewerage system and we saw what happened with the rubbish.

"They have 20 working days to comply and after that if they don't rectify the problem then we serve an Enforcement Notice."

Cr Barnes said each unit was individually owned by different people but had one operator who had specifically targeted foreign travellers.

"Anytime an Australian tried to rent these units they wouldn't let them in there because they tend to know their rights better," he said.

"It's sheer exploitation as far as I'm concerned."

If convicted, property owners who allow more than five unrelated people to reside at the same property without appropriate development approval face fines up to $183,150

Platinum Apartments caretaker nominee Kingsley Allan said the moment tenants had made him aware of the situation the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service was notified.

"The operator was there when the fire inspection was carried out earlier in the year and we did find a large number of beds and bunks stacked in various storerooms on the day of the inspection," he said.

"It's really a matter for the council and the fire department to shut her down and I am satisfied that they are doing everything in their power to enforce the law."

Cr Barnes said this was part of a larger problem of unscrupulous operators within Bundaberg who were taking unfair advantage of foreign travellers.

"This has a major negative impact on the region."



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