NSW State MPs - The ‘Good’, the ‘Bad’, the…

Yesterday (20/06/18) in the Legislative Assembly, NSW Greens MP Jenny Leong’s motion recognising Housing as a Human Right passed the NSW lower house. HomelessNSW applauded the move: “Currently less than 1% of rental properties are affordable for people on low incomes and there are over 60,000 people on the social housing waiting list so we are hopeful to see this inspirational resolution be followed by concrete action in addressing this issue.” A day earlier, NSW Greens MP Jamie Parker addressed the NSW lower chamber on the commercialisation of Residential Housing and Minister Matt Kean’s Fair Trading Amendment (Short-Term Rental Accommodation) Bill. Mr Parker, plus many other State MPs, ra

The Minister (The Mistress) and Airbnb

Yesterday in the Legislative Assembly, State MPs stepped forward to criticise Minister Matthew Kean’s Fair Trading Bill that will see Online Holiday Rental Platforms have access to NSW Residential Housing. Criticism of the Bill was at times strident, with many real areas of concern raised. In the end however, Labor’s Shadow Minister for Fair Trading Yasmin Catley concluded her speech by merely saying: “Labor will not oppose the bill, but it reserves its judgement in the other place.” (Legislative Council one wonders?) Thousands of NSW Residents are evicted and displaced by Holiday Rental Landlords. Rents skyrocket and the only available affordable housing is often hours away from one’s pl

Homes Rented via Airbnb/Expedia/ etc Operate as Hotels - Must Meet All Commercial Require

NSW Minister Matt Kean’s proposed Amendment of the Fair Trading Act 1987 contains a Clause - 54E(2) - that states: “For the avoidance of doubt, subsection (1) does not in itself authorise the use of residential premises for the purposes of short-term rental accommodation if that use is prohibited by an environment planning instrument.” Our homes have all been constructed and fall directly under environmental planning instruments that clearly state that they are for Residential purposes, and not for industrial Tourist/Visitor Rentals. It is therefore impossible to fathom how our State Ministers can somehow sweep away the environmental planning instruments that see our homes zoned and fit for

NSW Fair Trading Update - Short-Term Rentals - Japan: Axe Falls on Airbnb

The NSW Department of Fair Trading’s website now carries news of plans to effectively retrospectively rezone NSW Strata Buildings and all housing in R2 Low Density Residential Areas. State Government Ministers will introduce new Planning Laws to facilitate this. Further details can be found on the Department of Fair Trading’s website or by clicking here. Airbnb’s Chris Lehane said the changes in NSW “will actually help the company”. Japan: “With no choice but to comply, Airbnb this week delisted all of its Japan-based properties that have so far failed to secure the necessary permit from the authorities. It’s led to nearly 80 percent of Airbnb’s accommodation listings in Japan disappeari

Another NSW Department Ensnared in Short-Term Rentals

Last December, Chief of Staff for the Minister for Local Government, the Hon. Gabrielle Upton, wrote that Short-Term Tourist/Visitor Rentals were “under the portfolio responsibilities of the Hon. Anthony Roberts, the Minister for Planning”. The Hon. Gabrielle Upton had earlier declined to intervene when Local Government Authorities refuse to enforce Residential Zoning legislation. Yesterday a Canberra Times report set off an alarm bell: ACT government rakes in profit from own Airbnbs. The Hon. Gabrielle Upton is also Minister for the Environment; her portfolio responsibilities include NSW National Parks and Wildlife Services. And who might be partnering with NSW National Parks and Wildlife

Sweeping Legislative Changes Put to NSW Parliament

NSW Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation Matthew Kean has announced in the NSW Parliament his proposed sweeping legislative changes that will facilitate the financial objectives of an unknown number of short-term holiday letting platforms. These platform operators – almost all foreign owned - seek direct and full access to NSW housing. (Click Hansard transcript, go to June Wed 6 – pages 9-11.) A University of NSW Report concluded in 2015 that there were at point in time 1,715 registered residential and mixed-use strata schemes in the Sydney Local Government Area alone, containing 73,486 residential lots (these figures exclude commercial-only strata). Ministers Anthony Roberts (Hou


Airbnb’s Country Manager Sam McDonagh told ABC Radio National’s PM program (05JUN18): “The NSW Parliament has effectively ‘green lit’ (sic) home sharing in NSW...” Airbnb’s McDonagh also told The Australian newspaper: “Australia is the most penetrated (Airbnb) market in the world.” Airbnb’s Head of Global Policy and Communications Chris Lehane says he “welcomes restrictions” – what Ministers Anthony Roberts and Matt Kean claim is a “crack down” on Airbnb’s activities plus those of hundreds of other booking platforms. Matt Kean’s Department has sent the briefest of messages, hoping that the community is reassured that our concerns have been heard and addressed. Here is what is proposed for N

Residential Housing is for the Housing of Residents

The NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into the adequacy of legislation covering short-term letting of homes ignored completely our current legislation, case law, court orders and NCAT orders. Subsequent to the Parliamentary Inquiry, the Committee Manager confirmed in writing that no Legal advice was ever sought. Again, “…no Legal advice was sought” during the preparation of Ministers Kean and Roberts’ “Options Paper". Last December, Minister Matt Kean called for evidence of “collusion” between Agents and short-term rental platforms. This too was supplied, with two Official Branches of the NSW Government topping the list. There has been zero acknowledgement, response or report-back to those who too

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