Late last month, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Minister for Tourism and Major Events Adam Marshall were in Lismore to announce a “$300,000 Flood Recovery Support Program to help drive visitors back to the NSW North Coast”. Hosting the event was local MP and short-term letting landlord Thomas George, together with Tweed MP Geoff Povest ‘100%...short-term letting is here to stay’. The said program is reportedly partnered by HotelsCombined, Webjet, Stayz, etc.
While Councillors in Byron Shire are now focussed on reclaiming holiday homes in order to house local residents, plus ensuring a level playing field for licensed accommodation providers, last week a slick, new road show together with glossy videos rolled into town: Destination NSW. Byron Mayor Simon Richardson and local State MP Tamara Smith were said to be “unimpressed”. Destination NSW staff reportedly focused on ‘funding opportunities and marketing strategies’, and when General Manager for regional NSW Stephen Mahonia was asked by the ABC for an interview, he declined.
Whilst most of the focus into the phenomenal loss of housing across NSW to short-term holiday/visitor rentals has centred around the Ministers responsible for Planning and Strata, just down the corridor in Macquarie Street there has been a steady flow of visitors into the Office of Tourism and Major Events Minister, Adam Marshall. Here, a list of Ministerial well wishers received of late: AccorHotels (now in direct competition with Airbnb with minimum 60-minute bookings in homes); AccorHotels visited twice in one week. Then there were Stayz/Expedia, MPs Geoff Provest and Kevin Andrews (there are Court Orders on Andrews banning the short-term rental of a Sydney CBD property), Albury MP Greg Aplin discussing ‘Tourism’ – Aplin is a cohort of MPs Thomas George, John Williams and Garry Edwards (ICAC fame) who attempted the prosecution of those speaking out about “Illegal Use of Premises”/short-term letting of Residential apartments. Also through the door: Airbnb and Tourism Accommodation Australia, who in a ‘world-first’ shocked Industry, Legislators and Residents by jumping into bed with Expedia/Stayz. And finally, Destination NSW called on the Hon. Member.
Can we add Destination NSW and the Minister for Tourism to those wanting our homes for hotels?
Homes not Hotels Communities not Transit Zones People before Profits
Neighbours not Strangers