PLEASE: WHERE IS OUR MINISTER?
A torrid day for those concerned about short-term rentals:
Melbourne Apartment Residents Representative tells ABC Radio’s Jon Faine that their Government’s flipping the keys to Airbnb is “an absolute disgrace”. We can hear the distress in Marshall Delves’ voice; we empathise with him totally.
Byron Bay Residents have used Twitter @SISTRO11 to ask Council why it has ignored one of its highest-profile holiday rentals. Local newspaper, The Northern Star, has followed through with Council and reports that Byron’s “Mayor reveals legal action is under way”. It sounds though that Mayor Simon Richardson is about to use a fly swat to go after a massive swarm of blowflies in his Shire.
In Melbourne a million-dollar Airbnb rental is a “write-off after youths cause $150,000 worth of damage”. As we reported yesterday, Airbnb takes nil responsibility for verifying the identity of users. We can hear the Airbnb spokesperson now: “events such as this are extremely rare…”
The Gold Coast reports that an Airbnb spike hurts long-term renters: “Airbnb listings on the Glitter Strip have increased 73 per cent in the past year; and the already tight long-term rental market is tipped to contract further as fewer properties are available.”
All our attempts to date to seek a response from NSW Minister Local Government Gabrielle Upton on why Councils across NSW will not deal with breaches of Residential Zoning have been met with silence. Minister Upton’s electorate includes the suburbs of Tamarama, Bondi, North Bondi and Bronte, which are ranked as the top four suburbs in Australia with the greatest proportion of dwellings available on Airbnb, most of which are ‘entire home’ listings. In Tamarama, one in every five dwellings is an Airbnb. For fear of constantly repeating ourselves, the eviction and displacement of tenants plus the upward forces on rental and housing prices cannot be denied and must not be ignored. One need only look to the Planning Institute of Australia’s response to the NSW Parliament’s ‘Options Paper’ for an explanation on the economic ‘cause and effects’ of Airbnb and their ilk.
Please Minister Upton: when will Councils be mandated to enforce our Zoning Legislation? The impacts on Residents are severe.
Homes not Hotels Communities not Transit Zones People before Profits Neighbours not Strangers