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ESM & Prescribed Accommodation

Webinar - Click below to view the recent webinar on ESM & Prescribed Accommodation:


About Essential Safety Measures (ESM):

Building owners are required under the Building Act 1993 and the Building Regulations 2018 to maintain building Essential Safety Measures which include fire extinguishers, emergency lighting and exit signage, smoke alarms etc. Building owners are also required to keep maintenance records and prepare an Annual Essential Safety Measures Report (AESMR).

Need assistance?

The Municipal Building Surveyor can provide tenants with free advice on their building owner responsibilities and prepare your AESMR for a fee. If this interests you, please contact Trent Ball by email at

Essential Safety Measures FAQs

- What are Essential Safety Measures?

Essential Safety Measures (ESM’s) are building safety features designed to protect human life such as fire detection and alarm systems, fire doors, emergency lighting, fire hoses and blankets and evacuation signs. More information on ESMs is available from the Victorian Building Authority here.

- Is my property subject to Essential Safety Measure requirements? If you are the owner of a building (other than a private home or outbuilding) you are responsible for maintaining its Essential Safety Measures. Your obligations will differ depending on the types of measures installed in your building and your building class and age. If you’re not sure of your obligations, please contact the Municipal Building Surveyor for advice. Non-compliance with ESM obligations may result in an infringement notice or fines ranging from $290 to over $17,000 for an individual and over $88,000 for a company.

- Annual Essential Safety Measures Report

The Building Regulations require owners to prepare an Annual Essential Safety Measures Report (AESMR) in accordance with the template below. You can prepare and submit this report yourself or can engage an agent such as an Essential Safety Measures Practitioner or independent Building Surveyor. The RMB includes a reminder to prepare an AESMR in its rent notices and asks tenants to provide it with a copy of their AESMR. Please note, CFA Property Inspections are not the same as preparing an AESMR and do not meet your ESM obligations under the Act or the Regulations.

TEMPLATE - Annual-Essential-Safety-Measu
Download • 35KB

- Who is responsible for what?

  • Building occupiers have an obligation to keep exits accessible, functional and clear of obstructions.

  • Building owners must maintain essential safety measures in accordance with the cyclical maintenance standards contained in the Regulations.

  • Alpine Resort Management Board is responsible for administering and enforcing the Building Act 1993 and the Building Regulations.

  • The Municipal Building Surveyor supports tenants to understand and comply with their building owner responsibilities and, where necessary, can issue emergency orders, building notices and penalties.


About Prescribed Accommodation:

Mansfield Shire Council is statutorily responsible for Prescribed Accommodation and Food Registrations in the Resort. Mansfield Shire Council is actively pursuing potentially unregistered prescribed accommodation premises located within the Mt. Buller Resort.

Prescribed Accommodation

In accordance with the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008, registration with Council is required for businesses that provided accommodation at a charge, unless the premise falls under one of the following exemptions:

“a) a house under the exclusive occupation of the occupier

b) a self-contained flat under the exclusive occupation of the occupier consisting of a suite of rooms that:

i) forms portion or portions of a building; and

ii) includes kitchen, bathroom and toilet facilities; and

iii) forms a self-contained residence; or

c) temporary crisis accommodation…

h) any vessel, vehicle, tent or caravan

i) premises in which, other than the family of the proprietor, not more than 5 persons are accommodated, and which is not a rooming house

A rooming house is a “building in which there is one or more rooms available for occupancy on payment of rent in which the total number of people who may occupy that room or those rooms is not less than 4.

The objectives of the Public Health & Wellbeing (Prescribed Accommodation) Regulations 2022 are to protect the health of the public using these types of facilities. Registered premises must meet legislated requirements including room size requirements, bathroom ratios, cleanliness and maintenance.

Historically many members/club lodges have not required registration with Council due to past interpretation of the above exemptions. However, in recent times the desire to align with interpretations that have been implemented by the Indigo Shire within the Falls Creek and Mt Hotham resorts lead Council to seek legal advice regarding the Prescribed Accommodation definitions. This advice has clarified that member/club lodges do not fall under an exemption from registration as defined within the Regulations as such registration as Prescribed Accommodation will likely be required where ‘payment of consideration’ is provided.

Please find information sheets enclosed for your reference. The attached information sheets and self-assessment form may assist you to understand your registration requirements.

Food Act 1984

A food business is also required to be registered with Council and must meet certain food safety standards depending on the types of foods provided. To put this in perspective, if members/club lodges are providing breakfast for paying guests (including where there is an inclusive charge), this type of food service is deemed as a “sale” under the Food Act 1984 and registration would be required.


Applications for registration can be made through the Mansfield Shire Council website at the following links:

Arrangements will need to be made to allow for an on-site assessment once your application has been reviewed. The registration process will need to be finalised without delay as operating a business without registration is an offence and potentially exposes your business to other risks.

Prescribed Accommodation Fact Sheet-v2
Download P • 570KB
Accommodation Flowchart
Download PDF • 184KB
Prescribed Accommodation self assessment
Download • 72KB


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