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Like others around the globe – “Airbnb, just follow the law and shut up” - and unimpressed with the ”attack on Queenstown’s Council”, friends across the Tasman have sent us video of their attempts to deal with Airbnb and Brent Thomas. Remember, Thomas claims a degree in Law, is a former NSW State Labor Minister staffer and Hurstville Councillor; he knows how legislation works.

Waverley Council, with 4,544 homes lost, is second only to the City of Sydney as Airbnb’s ‘most penetrated’ Council. Woollahra Council is pipped only by Manly and Warringah Councils in terms of Airbnb numbers.

Waverley Mayor John Wakefield told the Wentworth Courier (08 November): “We know anecdotally it’s pushing up individual properties and therefore it’s pushing up the overall average price, the average rental of property in our area…it also removes stock from monthly rentals and standard tenancy rentals which decreases the vacancy rate.”

Woollahra’s Planning and Development Director Allan Cocker told the Wentworth Courier doesn’t want Airbnb rentals prohibited: “We have suggested short-term rental accommodation be regulated through a complying development certificate.” Coker wants to avoid Councils being ‘bogged down in paperwork’.

On reading the statement’s in yesterday’s Wentworth Courier one Resident sent us a copy of the article to us along with this one word: “HELL.

We emailed Waverley, Woollahra and the City of Sydney Councils asking if we might have copies of their responses to the NSW Parliament’s ‘Options Paper’ on the short-term rental of our residential homes. No reply.

It is incumbent upon Legislators to acknowledge the grave financial and social impacts that unregulated, unlicensed, uncontrolled short-term tourist/visitor rentals are bringing to those seeking safe, secure, affordable housing, and the severe negative impacts this illegal use of residential property imposes on neighbours, communities and legitimate commercial operators. Councils must be mandated to immediately commence enforcement action against those who are breaking our legislation and placing the lives of residents, tourists and visitors at risk.

Homes not Hotels Communities not Transit Zones People before Profits Neighbours not Strangers

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