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The Minister (The Mistress) and Airbnb

Yesterday in the Legislative Assembly, State MPs stepped forward to criticise Minister Matthew Kean’s Fair Trading Bill that will see Online Holiday Rental Platforms have access to NSW Residential Housing. Criticism of the Bill was at times strident, with many real areas of concern raised. In the end however, Labor’s Shadow Minister for Fair Trading Yasmin Catley concluded her speech by merely saying: “Labor will not oppose the bill, but it reserves its judgement in the other place.” (Legislative Council one wonders?)

Thousands of NSW Residents are evicted and displaced by Holiday Rental Landlords. Rents skyrocket and the only available affordable housing is often hours away from one’s place of employment and study. And Residential Title Deed holders and Small Business Owners know full well the magnitude of the actions of our State MPs and what was carried forward yesterday in State Parliament.

Whilst Minister Matthew Keen sat back silently observing the morning’s debate, the piously groomed and attired MP for Miranda, Eleni Petinos stepped forward. Ms Petinos threw herself into the defence of Minister Kean’s Bill, disclosing her meetings with and parroting Airbnb; she gave verbal reassurance to her constituents: “(The Bill) will not adversely impact our community. My electorate contains only 20 to 30 properties. In addition, 9,000 of my constituents currently use Airbnb to enjoy the use of other people’s premises whilst travelling around the State. Based on the facts, there is no truth in the assertion that properties will be turned into hostels and we will have increased incidental and temporary populations in our electorates.” She went on to say: “…those suggested ramifications are simply not possible.”

Ms Petinos’ ardour for Airbnb was palpable. Minister Kean’s widely reported ‘sex scandal’ with Ms Petinos added to the drama and distress felt by many Residents whose lives have been rendered close to unbearable by Airbnb and Mob’s operations. Many watched the live broadcast from Parliament via video link.

The Hansard transcripts of yesterday’s debate in Parliament can be found here, here and here.

Minister for Planning and Housing Anthony Roberts will soon deliver his Bill into the NSW Parliament, which one expects will sweep away the Residential Title Deed rights of Citizens, while declaring short-term rentals from as short as an hour, and of every nature imaginable, to be ‘exempt and complying development’.

As a sobering footnote – as if one were needed – yesterday the NSW Council for Civil Liberties condemned new State legislation that will come into effect on 01 July 2018. “NSW Civil Liberties Council is appalled to learn that…the NSW State Government will have incredibly wide powers to disperse or ban protests, rallies and virtually any public gathering across about half of all land across the state…with the exception being in the case of a cemetery, for the purposes of a religious or other ceremony of burial or commemoration.”

Homes not Hotels Communities not Transit Zones

People before Profits Neighbours not Strangers

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