Principal residences and furniture kits: your questions answered

The QTU has recently become aware of a number of issues regarding principal residences and furniture kits. The Union’s State Accommodation Committee has come up with the following advice.

What is a principal residence?

The QTU has recently been involved in a couple of cases where the Department of Education and Training (DET) has sought to change longstanding custom and practice about what constitutes a principal’s residence.

Regardless of the principal’s family/relationship status, the QTU asserts that a principal is entitled to a house.

The recent cases sought to align a residence with the number of family members, and in one case, whether the principal had a pet. In the latter case, the possession of a pet was deemed by DET to be significant enough to warrant a house. The QTU believes that a house should be designated as a principal’s residence regardless of the family/relationship status of the principal and regardless of whether or not they own a pet.

Local accommodation committees (LACs) that experience any difficulties with the designation of such residences should contact the QTU for advice and assistance.

Vacant principal residences

Although many principal residences are still owned by DET, some are now owned by the Department of Housing and Public Works (DHPW), and where these residences are vacant for a period of time, DHPW will try and sell them. Although DET will support a private lease in the future when a principal residence is required again, the QTU advises LACs to allocate tenants to principal residences to avoid the loss of the residence for any period of time. The exception to this position would be where the current residence is of such a low standard of quality that its sale and replacement is the better option.

Furniture kits

Furniture kits have and continue to be provided for multi-tenant accommodation and sole tenant accommodation in remote centres.

The information below outlining what constitutes a furniture kit is taken from DET’s accommodation guidelines. LACs should audit their current kits, and where they are not complete, submit requests for replacement of furniture to regional office. This advice has been provided by DET central office.

LACs that do not receive a positive response to such a request should contact their local QTU Organiser or contact the QTU on 1300 11 7823.


Refrigerator Kelvinator C410F fridge/freezer or equal Freezer (remote areas only) Kelvinator H210F chest freezer or equal.


Wardrobe (where no built in cupboards) Dressing table for each bedroom (where not built in) Teachers desk c/w chair for each bedroom N.B. bed and mattress are not provided.


Automatic washing machine, Simpson 4.5kg top loading automatic machine or equal.


Dining room table complete with 4-6 chairs.


3 piece lounge suite, prefer solid wooden pine frame.



Jeff Backen                                                                                                                    Assistant Secretary

Queensland Teachers' Journal, Vol 122 No 8, 3 November 2017, p22