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Byron Shire
May 10, 2021

Ballina council considers legal action against Wardell Hotel

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The Wardell Hotel. (Flickriver)

The Ballina Shire Council is considering legal action against the operators of the Wardell Hotel for allegedly failing to provide annual fire safety statements.

In a report to the council, which will be considered on Thursday, staff have recommended that legal action be taking in the local court, which can impose penalties up to $110,000.

According to staff, a requirement to provide annual fire safety statements has been in place since 1988.

The statements provide certification of the ongoing performance and maintenance of the approved and installed fire safety measures and are to be completed on an annual basis.

The proprietor of the Hotel is required to submit an Annual Fire Safety Statement to Ballina Shire Council and NSW Fire and Rescue for the servicing of emergency lighting, fire hose reels and exit signage.

However, the council has been unable to obtain a statement from the hotel since 2014.

According to the staff report, the hotel has already been fined twice for failing to provide the statements … in 2013 and 2015.

The hotel has also received a number of formal warnings, with the latest being issued in September 2016.

The council’s solicitor wrote to the hotel management last year and provided a grace period to lodge the statements, however that period ran out on 14 December last year.

The Wardell Hotel, also known as Wardell on the River Hotel, was originally constructed in the late 1800’s.

Ballina councillors will meet on Thursday to decide the way forward.


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  1. $110,000!!! Now in the spirits of the thing as I throw this here firewater down my throat to quench my thirst, that ain’t small beer. That number has a lot of noughts on it.


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