Early this week, former Staffer of Gabrielle Upton and now Airbnb Manager of Public Affairs ANZ, Julian Crowley put Senior NSW Public Servants on notice: Airbnb has no intention of complying with any directive to license and register their landlords and activities in our State.
In 2014 Byron Shire councillors approved a wedding venue that was outside the terms of their own Local Environmental Plan. A neighbour objected, took the matter to the Supreme Court and won. Last October the Shire’s director of sustainable environment and economy, Shannon Burt, said Council would continue to crack down on unauthorised centres across the shire, due to the grief caused to locals. “Authorised venues run under strict terms and conditions…if it’s affecting your neighbour it’s not suitable…” We await Byron Council’s long overdue crack down on the unlawful use of homes for short-term holiday rentals.
General Manager of Clarence Valley Council Ashley Lindsay reportedly concedes that short-term tourist/visitor rentals of homes in his Shire are illegal. Residents of the Yamba Residents’ Action Group and others have been writing to his Council for two years, providing details of properties where this unlawful activity is taking place. No enforcement action nor a single fine has yet been issued.
A spokesperson for the NSW Ombudsman has today volunteered that Local Councils should, within six weeks, provide a written response to and take action on legitimate and substantiated breaches of Legislation. Who then can justify Councils across NSW failing to act on the ‘Airbnb Contagion’?
Again Minister Upton, the time to subpoena the records of short-term rental operators and agents in NSW is well passed. As Minister for Local Government, will you see to mandating Local Councils’ enforcement of Planning and Zoning Legislation; and if not, why not?
Homes not Hotels Communities not Transit Zones People before Profits Neighbours not Strangers