Woman denies budget hostel fire safety breaches

 

A Gatton woman accused of running unsafe budget accommodation for backpackers has denied breaching fire safety standards.

Mayla Patterson, 53, faced Brisbane Magistrates Court on Monday where she pleaded not guilty to nine charges brought against her by Queensland Fire and Emergency Services.

Ms Patterson is accused of not adequately displaying fire signs, failing to install emergency lighting, having no fire safety management plan or early warning systems at two properties.

Mayla Patterson is representing herself with the help of an Indonesian translator during the two day trial. Picture: Jack Tran
Mayla Patterson is representing herself with the help of an Indonesian translator during the two day trial. Picture: Jack Tran


Barrister Michael Nicholson acting on behalf of QFES said that the failures were discovered when compliance officers attended the properties at Gatton and Atkinson's Dam in May 2018.

At the start of the trial, Ms Patterson applied for a stay in prosecutions alleging QFES had engaged in intimidatory conduct with witnesses and racism and had failed to take her statement or interview her about the alleged breaches.

Magistrate John Smith dismissed Ms Patterson's application, saying her allegations had not been substantiated or were not relevant and her application "lacks any merit".

Ms Patterson formally pleaded not guilty to two counts of failing to display signs in accommodation units, five counts of failing to maintain prescribed fire safety installations and two counts of failing to prepare a fire safety management plan within one year.

The trial is expected to last two days.

Originally published as Woman denies budget hostel fire safety breaches


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