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AT YEAR’S END, WHO IS THE BIG WINNER – AIRBNB, EXPEDIA?

“The WA Labor and Liberal parties have joined forces to set up a parliamentary inquiry into regulation of the state's short-stay accommodation industry. Tension has erupted between owners of licensed short-stay businesses…and unlicensed, backyard operators who advertise through websites such as Airbnb.” Sound familiar? We have written to colleagues in Western Australia flagging with them that back in January 2017 the WA Government entered into a ‘global deal with Expedia’. Interestingly, this news has been removed from Tourism WA’s Government website. In September 2015 the NSW Parliament referred the Adequacy of regulation of short-term holiday letting in New South Wales to a Parliament

THE AIRBNB CONTAGION CONTINUES UNCHECKED

Sabrina Behunin has cracked ‘the 300-mark’. As of today, Sabrina has 306 homes listed on Airbnb with numbers climbing daily. Rampant corporatisation of Residential Housing? And regrettably Sabrina is not alone. Up on the NSW North Coast, John Gudgeon from the Holiday Letting Organisation has this week emailed those operating short-term rentals in breach of Residential Zoning: “We have confirmation that the relentless anti-STRA position is still being pursued by the Byron Shire Council….It seems incredible that the BSC is prepared to make such outlandish demands without hard data to support the claims of such things (as) lack of affordable housing and an overwhelming destruction of amenity

AIRBNB: WHO ARE THEY LETTING PENETRATE OUR HOMES

Reports this week that the ACAT (the ACT’s equivalent of our NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal NCAT) has acted against Wotif, for “misleading and deceptive conduct”. A client booked an apartment with beach views and was housed in a “dilapidated basement with views of an outdoor kitchenette – he felt ripped off”. The ACCC’s Rod Sims is also taking on Google and Facebook over their sizeable market power. The ACCC’s probe was scured by the Nick Xenophon Team. It’s lamentable that “Edna” from the ACCC’S ‘Infocentre’ wrote today, in respect of Airbnb and Expedia’s business model and complaints lodged with Rod Sims: “When the ACCC takes action, it is to remedy market problems; we are not a

NSW: YESsirEE, AIRBNB (Ireland) WANTS YOU TO VOTE LNP

Some wrote to us yesterday stating: “If Airbnb starts telling us who to vote for in the upcoming State elections…” Well, there were numerous comments and let’s politely leave it at…‘too many ‘comments’ to print here’. And yes, see below how (Airbnb’s tax haven in) Ireland – hey, at least it’s not Russia– is trying to influence our electoral system, and legislation, and your home lives and communities. This featured email has been sent to 1,000s of NSW voters. Let’s see if anyone in the Media here in NSW will pick up and run with this information. Please be assured: they are all receiving our Media Releases. ‘Christmas Joy’ for Deputy Premier and Minister for Small Business, John Barilaro

IS THE US$31-BILLION AIRBNB DICTATING LEGISLATION?

Yesterday, 100 days out for the NSW State Election, the Daily Telegraph forewarned that the off-shore booking platform, Airbnb, will today be sending “an email to thousands of its members discouraging them from voting for Labor in the upcoming state election”, claiming that Labor’s plans for a mandatory regulation scheme on short-term rentals is “backing the ‘big end of town’”. In May 2016, in the corridors of the NSW Parliament House, a NSW Local Government Administrator told Executives and Legal Counsel for Expedia/HomeAway/Stayz, all they need do is lobby to change Planning Legislation, making short-term rentals ‘exempt and complying development’. This is exactly what his and other NSW C

WILL SHE CRACK IT BY NEW YEAR?

Sabrina Bethunin often adds up to five Airbnb listings to her haul of properties every week; her commercial operations in residential dwellings attract no enforcement action from Sydney Local Council administrators. Note well: far from every client leaves a review and Sabrina currently has 4,144 reviews across 282 Airbnb properties. Will Sabrina crack 300 homes lost to Airbnb rentals by New Year? Our humble Neighbours Not Strangers Facebook page now has 995 ‘Followers’ – those who daily see our reports on illegal activity and Airbnb & Co’s penetration of housing. Might we reach 1,000 Followers by New Year? A big vote of appreciation goes to our co-administrators for their tireless effort

DEAR PREMIER, A WORD PLEASE...AIRBNB IS COLLABORATING WITH LEGISLATORS

At lunchtime today NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian was doing a Media call in the Sydney suburb of Oatley. State Member for Oatley and Chairman of the Parliamentary Inquiry into Legislation on Short-Term Rentals, the Hon Mark Coure MP, accompanied the Premier. A local Media Representative was present. The Premier was told that Residents are being forced from their homes due to illegal rentals. Ms Berejiklian was asked to explain why neither she nor her Ministers reply to questions regarding her Government’s plan to alter the State Environmental Planning Policy [SEPP] in order to retrospectively remove the proprietary rights of residential title deed holders and allow multi-billion-dollar sho

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