Minimum standards for rental properties to honour baby Bella

Published: Comments:
Business Community Law & Safety Property & Real Estate Queensland Government Surveys & Your Say


The grandparents of a baby girl killed in a tragic accident at a Central Queensland rental property today (Sunday) supported the Palaszczuk Government’s commitment to residential tenancy reform - which they hope will prevent “future tragedies”.

Lyn and Ken Diefenbach have been advocating for prescribed minimum standards for rental properties since the death of their seven-week-old granddaughter Isabella in 2010. Their son was holding baby Bella when a rotten floorboard gave way on the deck of their rental property, and his daughter tragically fell from his arms.

Mrs Diefenbach said Isabella’s death had been “cataclysmic” for the family.

“It’s an ongoing thing, and I don’t think for any family who suffers any trauma, it ever goes away. And it could have been avoided, and it was certainly seen as a preventable incident”.

Mr Diefenbach said he hoped the government’s Open Doors to Renting Reform consultation on property conditions, including minimum standards, would prevent future tragedies – and encouraged all Queenslanders to have their say.

“We want Bella’s death to count for something and we’re pleased there’s now an opportunity for this and other issues to be addressed,” he said. “What we would like is that if anything is identified in a rental property that is not safe, that the tenants are notified as well as the property owner.

“And some sort of regulatory body that’s got teeth so that if nothing is done about it, there are consequences for the property owner and for the agency that’s handling and managing the property.”

Housing Minister Mick de Brenni – who meet with the Diefenbachs in Brisbane earlier this month – said prescribed minimum standards in rental properties would ensure Queenslanders never “felt like they had to live in a dangerous home”.

“Queenslanders deserve to know that basic living and safety standards are met in their homes, whether or not they rent it or own it. The Palaszczuk Government is determined to deliver outcomes – and a legacy for baby Bella, and that is why it is so important we hear directly from families like the Diefenbachs.

“At the time of this tragedy, the Coroner handed down recommendations that compelled reform to ensure a tragedy like this never happens again.”

Member for Keppel Brittany Lauga, who organised the Brisbane meeting between the Diefenbachs and Mr de Brenni, said all Queenslanders deserved a safe, secure and sustainable home.

“The sad circumstances surrounding Bella’s family is just one tragic example of why these laws need reforming, and why protection needs to be stepped up,” Mrs Lauga said.

“Queensland has one of the highest proportions of people renting in Australia, and many will rent for part or all of their lives. This government wants Queenslanders to have contemporary residential tenancy laws that protect tenants and property owners alike.”

The Open Doors to Renting Reform consultation program, which runs until November 30 2018, is being conducted by the Department of Housing and Public Works in conjunction with the Residential Tenancies Authority (RTA) and aims to ensure the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008 provides better protections for tenants and property owners and increases stability in the rental market.

The website, survey and information on consultation events can be found at: or you can email or share your thoughts on social media using the hashtag #rentinginqld

Minister for Housing and Public Works, Minister for Digital Technology and Minister for Sport
The Honourable Mick de Brenni

Department of Housing and Public Works : Queensland Government :
GPO Box 2457, Brisbane QLD 4001, Queensland Wide
13 74 68
Department of Housing and Public Works : Queensland Government
Showing 10+ recent articles for this business
Queensland's Building and Construction industry set for further reform in 2019 04 January 2019 | The QBP sets out a reform program across the building and construction industry covering everything from building product safety, through to security of payments and the important issue of building certificatio... More information...
Building reforms hit the nail on the head for subcontractors 17 December 2018 | The next stage of the Palaszczuk Government’s landmark building industry fairness reforms comes into effect today (17 December 2018), with changes that streamline systems to ensure everyone working in the... More information...
IONIQ puts QFleet on track to zero emissions 17 December 2018 | Queensland's drive towards a cleaner, greener future is powering ahead with the addition of the first new generation electric vehicle to the government’s QFleet managed fleet. More information...
Landmark energy partnership delivers savings and sustainability 13 December 2018 | Buy Queensland has resulted in another successful procurement outcome, with the Palaszczuk Government negotiating a long-term energy contract that will deliver price stability to frontline government services and... More information...
Dignity First Fund delivers crisis transport ute to Sunshine Coast 13 December 2018 | A dual cab ute with an aluminium tray to transport people in crisis will soon be operating on the Sunshine Coast off the back of $42,937 in funding through the Palaszczuk Government’s $2.5 million Dignity First... More information...
Dignity First delivers job opportunities for Wide Bay at-need 13 December 2018 | An upgrade of the Comfort Kitchen at the Wandering Teapot will provide job opportunities for young people across the Wide Bay region off the back of $195,000 in funding through the Palaszczuk Government’s $2.5... More information...
$1 million in upgrades transforms Cherbourg women’s shelter 06 December 2018 | The establishment of a new shelter in Cherbourg will better protect women and children in the community who are experiencing domestic and family violence. More information...
Victorians’ vote on rental reform a good guide for Queensland 06 December 2018 | After a 9-week consultation into the current rental laws in Queensland, the Palaszczuk Government has received a record breaking 130,000 responses from Queenslanders wanting to see change. More information...
New financial reporting to help protect building industry jobs 29 November 2018 | Queenslanders working in the building and construction sector will soon have greater protection from the devastating impact of company collapses. More information...
Renting consultation casts a spotlight on billion dollar bond industry 28 November 2018 | The Palaszczuk Government’s Open Doors to Renting Reform consultation is casting a spotlight on Queensland’s multi-million dollar bond industry in its final week before submissions close. More information...

comments powered by Disqus

All articles submitted by third parties or written by My Sunshine Coast come under our Disclaimer / Terms of Service