Magnums Hotel has been fined by Queensland Fire and Emergency Services.
Magnums Hotel has been fined by Queensland Fire and Emergency Services. Peter Carruthers

Hotel slapped with massive fire breach bill

THE Airlie Beach hotel where Busby Marou will be blasting out on Friday night has been slapped with a $42,500 fine for illegally disabling its fire alarms.

The fine has been given to its owner, Australian Leisure and Hospitality Group, which employs 15,000 people across Australia.

The owners of Magnum's Hotel, on Shute Harbour Rd, admitted to 17 charges of failing to maintain a prescribed fire safety installation to a standard of safety and reliability in the event of fire.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services manager of compliance and prosecution Mark Halverson said the offences were detected when QFES officers analysed the data from Magnum Hotel's monitored alarm system during a routine audit.

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"Fire detection and alarm systems are vital lifesaving equipment, especially in night clubs and hotels, where patrons may be affected by alcohol and large groups of people congregate in small spaces," Mr Halverson said.

"Any delay in providing early fire warning can lead to injury or death of patrons.

"Magnum's Hotel was found to have deliberately disabled fire alarms on multiple occasions.

"QFES works with building owners right across the state to ensure building fire safety laws are followed and will not hesitate to take legal action if public safety is deliberately compromised."

QFES Commissioner Katarina Carroll said fines of this size sent a clear message to businesses that were sacrificing the safety of their patrons and staff by disabling vital fire safety mechanisms.

"This is a message to all building owners that QFES is dedicated to upholding the safety of Queenslanders and those who are knowingly and deliberately breaking the law will be found and prosecuted," Ms Carroll said.

"These alarm systems are installed for the safety of all people and the message is simple; disabling fire alarms and early warning systems is in breach of building fire safety legislation.

"It's unfortunate that legal action was necessary in this situation, but the safety of patrons, staff and the community, should be the number one priority of any business owner."

Ms Carroll praised the work of QFES officers in detecting the offences and said QFES would continue to pursue businesses that were neglecting their fire safety obligations.

"QFES will ensure that those who are ignoring fire safety obligations will be identified and enforcement action will be taken. A fine of this size should deter others from committing a similar offence," she said.

"Magnums Hotel is a popular venue in the Airlie Beach entertainment industry and this should serve as a wake-up call for businesses to review their fire safety systems and procedures.

"I'd also like to thank our QFES officers for their ongoing work towards ensuring community safety."

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