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NSWFB Schoolies Week fire safety blitz

Published: 23rd November 2009

Minister for Emergency Services Steve Whan today announced the NSW Fire Brigades (NSWFB) is cracking down on fire safety at accommodation and entertainment venues around Bryon Bay and Tamworth ahead of Schoolies Week and the 2010 Tamworth Country Music Festival.

Mr Whan said it was the first time the NSWFB had conducted such a comprehensive program of safety inspections in Byron Bay, with preparations for the 2009 Schoolies Week beginning over a year ago.

"The aim of the fire safety inspections is to ensure that each venue has adequate fire safety equipment and is only taking in the number of people it is licensed to accommodate," Mr Whan said.

"By law all buildings in which people sleep must have working smoke alarms and properly maintained fire safety equipment.

"So far firefighters have worked with the Byron Shire Council and police to inspect more than 50 hotels, backpackers and guest houses in Bryon Bay, with the Council continuing the inspection process at camping grounds this week."

"Likewise, around 35 fire safety inspections have been completed ahead of next year's Tamworth Country Music Festival.

"The Festival attracts more than 50 000 visitors to the city and inspections have now been conducted on hotels, band entertainment venues, including the Australian Equine Livestock Centre and the Tamworth Regional Entertainment and Conference Centre, where many of the major performances are held."

NSWFB Commissioner Greg Mullins said the crackdown on fire safety for Schoolies Week and the Tamworth Country Music Festival was part of the NSWFB's ongoing commitment to carry out fire safety inspections for all major events in NSW.

"This major program of fire safety inspections is all part of ensuring that events in NSW are as safe as possible for the community of NSW and visitors to the state."