In Legal Affairs

Acting Western Australia Minister for Commerce and Industrial Relations Francis Logan

Toppling Furniture Bill To Be Introduced Into Parliament

Victor P Taffa

  • Tenants will be allowed to affix furniture to walls, preventing them from toppling over
  • New laws introduced following the tragic death of Reef Kite

McGowan Government will introduce the Consumer Protection Legislation Amendment Bill 2018 to State Parliament this week, which will provide better protections to residential tenants and their children.

Amendments to the Residential Tenancies Act will allow tenants to secure furniture to the walls of their rental homes. They will also be required to repair any damage after their tenancy.

A landlord will only be allowed to refuse the tenant’s request to affix furniture in very limited circumstances, if there is asbestos in the house or it is heritage listed.

Changes follow the recommendation of the Western Australia Coroner’s report, delivered in November 2017, into the death of 21-month-old Reef Kite.

He was tragically killed in his family’s rental home by a falling chest of drawers in 2015.

“Toppling furniture is a key child safety issue. Since 2001, 22 Australian children, under the age of 9, have died from toppling furniture. Anchoring furniture can save a child’s life.” Acting Minister for Commerce and Industrial Relations Francis Logan said.

“Some of these changes are long overdue so I’m pleased the McGowan Government will be able to introduce them to Parliament this week.”

Evidence at the inquest revealed the drawers had not been secured because the landlord did not give permission.

Bill also makes miscellaneous amendments that will improve the administration of a range of occupational licensing schemes.

This includes:

  • Reducing unnecessary red tape,
  • Facilitating online systems for submitting applications and information,
  • Clarifying the entitlement of consumers to access industry specific insurance and compensation schemes.

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