AGED care centres must give more information to existing and prospective residents as to whether sprinkler systems are installed under proposed state government changes.
Planning and Infrastructure Minister Brad Hazzard said automatic sprinklers in NSW aged care homes would help protect residents.
A report into the fire which killed 11 residents of a Quakers Hill nursing home last year has found that lives would have been saved if sprinklers had been installed.
Mr Hazzard said the proposed regulations would begin on January 1, 2013 and would allow centres to install automatic sprinklers by August 2014 without the need to lodge an implementation plan.
He said facilities which needed longer to adjust have until February 2016 (with a potential extension by one year in exceptional circumstances) to develop an implementation plan and install sprinklers.
“As of April 2013, facilities without installed sprinklers will need to display signs and place information on their website, informing visitors this is case,” Mr Hazzard said.
“Nursing homes without sprinklers will need to provide six-monthly progress reports to a proposed implementation committee and these reports will be posted on the Department of Planning and Infrastructure’s website.
“Proposed changes will allow most aged care facilities to get approval from an accredited certifier for sprinkler systems within 10 days, without needing to submit a development application.
“Nearly 600 buildings containing 24,000 beds do not have sprinklers installed according to a survey of nationally-accredited facilities in NSW completed earlier this year.’’
Proposed changes to the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation and two state environmental planning policies are on exhibition until November 14 and can be found at: www.planning.nsw.gov.au/proposals.
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