A Hellish Menage A Trois.. Airbnb/Qantas/Jetstar

First it was Qantas.  Now their low cost carrier Jetstar…  Their bed-partner: Airbnb.  Tourism Accommodation Australia CEO Carol Giuseppi is right to be angry at Airbnb’s hook-up with Jetstar.  Giuseppi has Investors bringing millions of dollars into our cities and towns; their funds go into the construction and running of ‘bricks and mortar’ Hotel/Tourism infrastructure. Staff employed – our fellow residents - work under Enterprise Bargaining Agreements, and so too thousands more in supporting Service Industries.  They all depend on the Hotel/Tourism trade for jobs, wages and housing security.  The sector has become a critical cornerstone of our economy.  From Five Star Hotels to Backpacker Lodges/Motels/Bed & Breakfast Operators and licensed Home Stays, all are required to operate under and comply with legislation: Fire & Rescue, Building Codes, Disability Access etc.  This legislation has been honed and implemented to protect Staff and Clients, local and international.

 

Airbnb, Expedia(/Stayz) et al enter en scene and decide they won’t respect any of our Laws - none here in Australia and none anywhere else.  And what do they invest in terms of infrastructure?  Nothing.  They take our housing stock and they rob our Residents of access to homes.

A Residential building sits opposite the two Macquarie Street Sandstone beauties in Sydney, over which the NSW Government has granted a 99-year lease to the Singaporean developer Pontiac Land.  Pontiac will be investing $300 million to redeveloped the heritage sites. The Residential building will beat the daylights out of the Hotels on price every night of the year.  For 18-years the property was advertised globally and sold under the guise of a hotel/motel/guesthouse/serviced apartments/backpackers lodge.  One former State MP who still steers the building’s Strata Committee last week refused to act on the return of Airbnb and other STR operators into the premises. His and others’ short-stay clients will need only saunter across the street to enjoy the pool, bars, restaurants and all the other amenities the Hotels will offer. 

 

Given the daily reports about “Looming budget black holes”, the lack of affordable housing for Residents etc, etc, our Legislators’ silence, on Airbnb’s advertising storm and their intentions in regards to our homes, is deafening. 

 

The City of Sydney Council currently issues Determination of Development Consent on Residential Strata buildings that prohibit the advertising for rent of apartments for periods of less than three months.  New York City has introduced a similar ban on the advertising of residential properties.  This should be rolled out across NSW and Councils should then be mandated to enforce Planning/ Zoning Legislation.

 

Homes not Hotels        Communities not Transit Zones        Neighbours not Strangers

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